SHANGHAI – Global strategic communications firm SEC Newgate has expanded its operations in Greater China by acquiring 100% of boutique Shanghai-based marcomms agency Mars Communications.

Under the terms of the deal, Mars founder Victoria Guo (pictured) becomes SEC Newgate’s head of Shanghai and a partner in the firm.

The Shanghai office is the agency’s third in China; it already has operations in Beijing and Hong Kong. The acquisition brings its total headcount in China to more than 20 full-time professionals and senior advisors, working with clients such as Alvarez & Marsal, Champion Petfoods and Universal Robots.

Before founding Mars Communications in 2020 to focus on PR programmes for Fortune 500 companies, Chinese start-ups and state-owned enterprises, Guo was China general manager at Team Lewis in Shanghai and before that worked at FleishmanHillard in Hong Kong.

Guo will report to SEC Newgate’s managing partner in Greater China, James Hill, and will work alongside Mainland China co-heads Renfeng Zhao in Beijing and Candise Tang in Hong Kong.

SEC Newgate group deputy CEO and global head of APAC Brian Tyson said: “Our expansion in China reflects a growing opportunity to serve international companies that are re-engaging in communications in the country and domestic businesses looking to expand across Asia and navigate risk in other global markets. Victoria will be a great asset to the agency as we pursue more cross-border mandates with leading Chinese and international corporations.”

Guo added: “I have been impressed by SEC Newgate’s commitment to growth in China and globally, and by their diverse skillset. By integrating Mars Communications into the firm’s strong global network and offer, I am excited to work with the team to deepen and extend our existing client relationships and to serve the next generation of future Chinese business leaders and companies as they embark on international expansion.”