Beyond Meat makes China push with factories near Shanghai

Beyond Meat reached a deal to start production of its plant-based meat substitutes in China in early 2021

Beyond Meat is looking to take a bite out of the massive Chinese market, announcing plans on Tuesday to produce its plant-based beef, pork and chicken in the Asian nation.

The US substitute meat startup said it plans to open two facilities near Shanghai, after reaching an agreement with the Jiaxing Economic & Technological Development Zone.

The wholly-owned subsidiary of the California company plans to start production in early 2021. 

"China is one of the world's largest markets for animal-based meat products, and potentially for plant-based meat," said Beyond Meat CEO and founder Ethan Brown in a statement.

The facilities will include "one of the world's largest and technologically advanced plant-based meat factories," in a "vitally important country and market," Brown said.

Beyond Meat products are marketed in more than 80 countries, but the China outpost would mark a major expansion.