BEIJING--Hill + Knowlton Strategies has restructured its Asia-Pacific operations so that China now reports directly to the firm's global HQ in the US.

Previously, H+K China was part of the agency's Asia-Pacific region, which is now led by John Morgan following last year's departure of James Heimowitz. Morgan will continue to lead other Asia-Pacifc markets, with a particular focus on growing Southeast Asia.

In China, the firm's Beijing and Shanghai office MDs, Ye Yu and Ivy Soonthornsima, will share management of the region. 

Ye will continue to oversee Beijing, along with the corporate advisory, public affairs, crisis/training, health care, technology, energy and sustainability practice areas.

Soonthornsima, meanwhile, takes charge of Shanghai, Guangzhou and pan-China, while also managing corporate communications, marketing communications and finance/investor relations. Soonthornsima will also develop two new initiatives in China: a social PR lab and one focused on 'integrated communications/branding strategy'.

"We advise our clients around the world on issues at the intersection of their business and the public, and today one-fifth of that public lives in China,” said Jack Martin, global chairman and CEO of Hill+Knowlton Strategies.

“As a global firm, the influence of China cannot be overstated. It is the largest economy in the world behind the US, has eight cities that are larger than New York and has demonstrated an accelerated growth pattern for the past 30 years. To continue to sufficiently grow and service our impressive list of clients in China, as well as those looking to do business there, vigilant focus is critical.”

H+K Strategies has more than 500 employees in Asia, including 250 bilingual consultants in China.