Dunkin' Donuts said on Friday it plans to open its first shop in Shanghai this spring as part of its move into the Chinese market.

The privately held coffee and doughnut chain, a unit of Dunkin' Brands Inc, said it is planning to open 100 shops in Shanghai over the next decade.

Dunkin's Shanghai shops will feature -- in addition to its regular fare -- items tailored for local tastes including honeydew melon doughnuts and mochi rings, which are similar to doughnuts but are made with rice flour.

The company has more resources for expansion following its sale to a consortium of three private equity firms in 2005.

The chain, which is ubiquitous throughout the northeastern United States, has been courting larger franchisees and moving away from the smaller entrepreneurs who were a key component of its early growth.

Dunkin's partner in the Shanghai venture is Mercuries & Associates Inc, which operates 10 shops in Taiwan.

(Reporting by Justin Grant, editing by Phil Berlowitz)