The British American Tobacco (BAT) proposed US$1.5 billion joint-venture tobacco plant, reported here earlier, was suddenly thrown into doubt after the State Tobacco and Monopoly Administration said it had not approved the venture. An administration internal memorandum further asserted that no foreign company had been allowed to produce cigarettes in China. A tobacco administration official further asserted that no application to make cigarettes in the country had been received from BAT, adding that China's cigarette production capacity was excessive as it is. BAT countered that it had received approvals from ï¿½the highest levels of the central government.ï¿½ BAT brands include Lucky Strike, Kent, Dunhill and Pall Mall.
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