Starbucks (SBUX.NASDAQ) has signed an agreement with Chinese joint venture partner Maxim’s Caterers that will give the US company 100% ownership of Starbucks retail outlets in six Chinese regions, the Wall Street Journal reported. “Full ownership of our stores in Central, South and Western China is part of our broader strategy to build China as our second home market outside of the US,” John Culver, president of Starbucks International, said in a statement. The deal gives the Seattle-based coffee maker full control of its 250 stores in Guangdong, Hainan, Sichuan, Shaanxi, Hubei and Chongqing. Hong Kong-based Maxim’s has had a 30% stake in these operations since 2002. The two companies also agreed to give Maxim’s full control of 110 Starbucks stores in Hong Kong. In November 2010, Starbucks set up coffee production facilities in Yunnan and announced plans to open more than 1,000 stores in mainland China.