Tobacco giant Philip Morris International has secured approval to produce Marlboro cigarettes in China, the state-run Longyan Cigarette Factory was reported as saying. Philip Morris, part of the Altria Group, British American Tobacco and other foreign tobacco companies have been seeking Chinese manufacturing bases to avoid import duties and gain greater share of China's US$31 billion cigarette market. At present Western brand cigarettes account for about 5% of the market, home to some 350 million smokers, with sales of more than 1.8 trillion cigarettes a year.
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