BEIJING—Microsoft has shifted its China PR activity out of H-Line Ogilvy to Burson-Marsteller and Weber Shandwick.

The move follows competitive reviews of the company's seven-figure corporate and consumer PR accounts in the country, both of which were previously handled by H-Line for several years.

Corporate shifts to Burson-Marsteller, while Weber Shandwick takes charge of consumer. Waggener Edstrom, meanwhile, has been enlisted to support Microsoft Asia Research & Development in China, with Burson understood to be working on the R&D unit's regional PR initiatives.

Ogilvy will continue to handle Microsoft's leadership communications in China.

According to sources familiar with the situation Microsoft is aiming to improve its reputation and relationships in China, where it has experienced some high-profile intellectual property (IP) issues. Burson-Marsteller will continue to support Microsoft China's IP division.

The moves bring Microsoft China more into line with the company's global PR roster, on which both Burson and Weber Shandwick sit, alongside Waggener Edstrom, Edelman and Ruder Finn. 

Microsoft recently cited weakness in China, noting that revenue was down because of tougher economic conditions in the country.

[Photo credit: Gen Kanai]