Bright Foods, run by the same council as the city of Shanghai, is paying £720 million for a 60 per cent controlling share in the company – effectively making it nationalised.

Weetabix, which is valued at £1.2 billion, also owns Alpen and Ready Brek cereals.

Sun City boss Wang Zongnan said Western cereals were now increasingly popular in China.

“It’s not a traditional Chinese breakfast but increasingly the Chinese have more money to spend on healthy food. More and more are choosing grain and cereal products.”

British families often joke about how many they can eat in the morning, but Zongnan quipped that he could only manage two in the morning.

The Chinese hope that Weetabix’s sales will rise in China, across Asia and North America based on its clout as a healthy product.

The Northamptonshire-based cereal manufacturer was family owned until 2004, when it was bought by a Texan private equity firm, Lion Capital.

Despite now being owned by a Chinese company, the main mill and factory in Burton Latimer, which employs 1,000 staff, will remain in production.

Last week it emerged that Lotus, the British sports car firm, may be sold to China too.