Boeing is selling 200 of its 737 Max planes to clients in China.

The deals are worth a combined $20.7 billion at list prices, but must be approved by the Chinese government, before the buyers can be identified.

Reuters sources say they include state-owned airlines, China Aviation Supplies Holding Company and leasing firms associated with the country's banks.

These are the first commitments from China for the 737 Max, the upgraded version of Boeing's best-selling short-haul planes.

Boeing declined comment.

China is the battleground where Boeing is locking horns with European rival Airbus.

Airbus said last month it has commitments for 100 of its A320neo planes, including 60 from flag carrier Air China and 20 from leasing firm ICBC Leasing.

Officials from both companies agree China is likely to overtake the United States as the world's largest market for aircrafts over the next 20 years.