Although no major contract is expected to be signed during Sapin's visit, sources said, he will go out of his way to convince Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai of France's efforts to boost its competitiveness.
Top executives from leading companies Engie, Areva, Credit Agricole, Carrefour and PSA Peugeot Citroen will accompany Sapin on the trip, which precedes a visit by President Francois Hollande in November.
France ran a 25 billion euro ($28 billion) trade deficit with China in 2013.
Its market share stood at 1.18 percent, compared with 4.8 percent for Germany, official French data showed.
"They think of France in terms of lifestyle, luxury, nuclear technology. But they don't necessarily think about its industrial creativity, its engineers. When you say industrial quality, they immediately think Germany," the source said.
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However, Sapin will also have to reassure China over setbacks in the construction of power company EDF's EPR nuclear reactor in Normandy, whose completion was again delayed this month, weighing heavily on the French nuclear industry's reputation.
Two similar EPR reactors are being built in China.
Sapin will also touch upon the role of Paris as an offshore trading center for China's renminbi, another official said, and brief his counterpart on the situation in the euro zone.