Ruder Finn has acquired the China business of Kyodo Public Relations, including its operations in Beijing and Shanghai.
The new company, RF Kyodo, will be based in Shanghai and will also have an office in Beijing. RF Kyodo will leverage the strengths and expertise of two of the biggest independent PR companies in Asia to create a flow of mutual business referrals in the two largest Asian markets.
RF Kyodo will service Japanese companies in China as well as Kyodo China’s existing clients, which include some of the biggest corporations in Japan.
Jefferson Hou, a PR veteran from Ruder Finn Shanghai, has been appointed general manager of RF Kyodo, overseeing its operations in China and integrating the team from Kyodo China into Ruder Finn.
Ruder Finn Asia’s chairman Jean-Michel Dumont believes a stronger Ruder Finn Kyodo partnership and the establishment of a strategic consultancy will best support the clients.
Takashi Kamimura, Kyodo PR’s President and CEO, added: “We’ve combined high quality services with market expertise and deep insights in order to take our clients to the next level in the world’s number two economy. We believe this new agency will help improve PR industry standards in China.”
A long-term partner of Ruder Finn, Kyodo PR is one of Japan’s oldest and largest independent consultancies and the first PR agency to be listed on JASDAQ, the Japanese securities exchange. Kyodo PR first established Kyodo China in Shanghai in 2006 and opened another office in Beijing the same year.
Over the last 10 months, Ruder Finn has been aggressively expanding its Greater China operations, first with the acquisition in October 2014 of the Asia-Pacific portfolio of SharpeLankester, an international consultancy specialising in reputation management, crisis communications and investor relations, followed by the establishment of sister company, RF Thunder Hong Kong in January and RF Thunder Beijing in April.