Beijing: China will be home to the world's largest freestanding shopping centre having an area larger than 74 football fields, which is being constructed in northern port city of Tianjin by Philippines' SM Group.

The SM Tianjin Shopping Centre is to become the world's largest freestanding shopping mall in terms of commercial space upon its completion by the end of 2013, a statement from the government of the Tianjin Binhai New Area said.

SM Group, Philippines' largest mall operator, started the construction of the mall on Saturday.

The company has invested USD 476 million in the new mall, its largest investment in China to date, said the statement.

The mall will feature three oval-shaped buildings linked together by a ring-like structure and will have a total floor area of 530,000 square metres, it said.

Tianjin is only about 30 minutes by high-speed train, and roughly one-and-a-half hours by car, from Beijing.

SM Group was founded by Henry Sy, 87, a China-born immigrant listed by Forbes magazine last year as the Philippines' richest man.

The group has 46 malls in the Philippines and China, three of which are among the world's 10 largest malls, as reported.