U.S. supermarket chain Wal-Mart has entered China's convenience store market by opening three shops in the southern city of Shenzhen, a company official said on Wednesday.

Wal-Mart, which is also involved in the hypermarket and mega-store business, opened three convenience stores last December as a pilot program, although the company has maintained a low-key approach up to now. The three shops, which are roughly 300 square meters each, are aimed at providing service to local communities, Vivi Mou, a company public relations official in Beijing told Reuters by telephone.

(Reporting by Michael Wei in Beijing and Donny Kwok in Hong Kong; Editing by Chris Lewis)