ASIA Commercial Holdings is stepping up its foray into China's retail market with plans for a 400,000-square foot shopping complex in Beijing. Chairman Eav Yin yesterday unveiled the plan after officiating at the opening of Manhattan Plaza in Shanghai, the company's first shopping centre in China. He said Asia Commercial was negotiating to develop a shopping complex on an 85,000-sq ft site in Beijing's Dongcheng district. The development would be a joint venture with the local government, and Asia Commercial intended to take a shareholding interest of at least 50 per cent, he said. Mr Eav was unable to give an estimate of how much would be invested in the Beijing venture because the project had yet to be finalised. He indicated that Asia Commercial might bring in other shareholders. Manhattan Plaza, located at Shanghai's busiest street, Nanjing Road East, is an equal joint venture between Asia Commercial and Sanlian Group of Shanghai. The first phase of the plaza is an eight-storey building with about 60,000 sq ft of retail space. The second phase, a 12-storey building with some 90,000 sq ft, is due to be operational by the middle of 1994. Mr Eav said Asia Commercial would fund the US$30 million total investment in the Shanghai project from various sources. He said Sanlian Group had contributed the land as its investment in the development. Average rental for retail space in the plaza is estimated at HK$200 per sq ft a month. Mr Eav said the investment would be recouped in three years. Mr Eva also said his group and Hutchison Whampoa were in discussions about a 10-acre development project in Houjie town, Dongguan. He expected the project to include hotel, commercial and residential developments.