Japanese beer maker Asahi Group Holdings has agreed to sell its 20% stake in Chinese counterpart Tsingtao Brewery, putting the brewer back into full Chinese ownership.

Chinese investment group Fosun is taking 18% while Tsingtao will buy back the remainder, for a cost of about USD 941 million shared between them. It will please the Chinese government to have these shares held back in China, and the acquisition comes at what feels like a pivotal moment for China’s investment policy in its food and drink industry coming just a matter of weeks since China made sweeping import tariff cuts on a range of spirits, including halving the whisky tariff.

At the time this move appeared – at least in part – to be a response to mistrust held by Chinese consumers against domestic brands, which has been fuelled by years of prolific and severe public health warnings and scandals.

However, that was before French dairy giant Lactalis had to issue two rounds of recalls of baby formula worldwide following fears of a salmonella outbreak. It will not have been lost on the Chinese government that even foreign brands – which have dominated baby formula since the fatal melamine scandal almost 10 years ago – are not infallible.

Meanwhile, Tsingtao has been battling competition from foreign brands as consumers switch to premium labels. It is seen as a high quality local beer, but competes with Diageo and AB InBev at the premium end of its home market.

Growth in the Chinese beer market has been slowing in recent years, with value growth down to 1.7% in 2016 from 8% when Asahi bought the stake in 2009. By volume the market dropped to just over 3% in 2016, according to GlobalData.

This will be Fosun’s first food and beverage investment. It has interests in media, banking and healthcare, focusing what it terms it’s “unicorn strategy” around investments in business which serve the middle class.

Asahi bought the stake from AB InBev in 2009, needing to pay down debt following its acquisition of Anheuser-Busch. It initially retained a 7% share which it later sold to Chinese billionaire Chen Fashu.