France’s Publicis increases presence in China with Longtuo buy

French advertising major Publicis Groupe SA (EPA:PUB) said on Monday it had taken over Chinese digital marketing firm Longtuo, with significant e-commerce expertise in creative, customer acquisition, marketing solutions and measurement tools, without revealing the price.

With this deal, Publicis is looking to capture more of the fast-growing e-commerce market in China, which according to technology market researcher Forrester will reach USD94.6bn (EUR74m) this year, the buyer said. eMarketer expects the Chinese sector market to grow at an annual pace of above 92% in the next three years and become the world’s largest e-commerce marketplace by 2015, Publicis said.

The French group will integrate Longtuo into its owned Razorfish network and rename it Razorfish Longtuo China. Longtuo’s CEO and founder SU Yi will be appointed managing director at Razorfish Longtuo China.

Beijing-based Longtuo was set up in 2000 and has now 200 employees working at offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The combination will more than double Razorfish’s size which now has a staff of 130 offering e-commerce services.

This takeover continues Publicis Groupe’s strategy to double its size in China between 2010 and 2013, as part of an overall plan to substantially boost revenues from emerging markets and the digital sector.

Publicis has bought four Chinese agencies in the past four months, it said.