FYI 9.29.2010

Synovate hires auto research expert Klaus Paur; SAIC may invest in GM's IPO; Edipresse Appoints Seth Hawthorne; OMG Promotes Ian Lee; Tiger Gate Appoints Alexis Kwong and Sorel Roget; Nielsen Relocates Steve Laue to Hong Kong; Charm Wins Midea Business; Ketchum Hires Mark Bainbridge; Qinghai Appoints Optimedia

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Aegis Group's Synovate has appointed Shanghai-based Klaus Paur as managing director of the research company's automotive research division in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea, effective January 2011. Since 2003, Mr. Paur has run the China automotive research practice at TNS. He started his automotive research career in 1995, as a senior researcher for quantitative and qualitative ad-hoc studies at Sofres in Paris.
Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. may invest in the initial public offering of partner General Motors Co., cementing ties between the biggest U.S. and Chinese automakers.

China's largest carmaker will consider investing in GM if "conditions are favorable," Chairman Hu Maoyuan said in Shanghai. The company has not yet made a decision whether to make the investment and is waiting for details of the share sale, he added.

The automakers, which have made cars together in China for more than a decade, said in December they also will sell low-cost vehicles in India. GM filed for an initial public offering in August as the U.S. government seeks to pare the 61% stake it gained in the company during GM's bankruptcy and the $50 billion taxpayer bailout last year.

"GM is our important strategic partner," Hu said. "We are not clear about the details of its IPO. We will make the right decision once we know details."

The joint venture partners are developing a new engine and transmission system together, have launched the new Baojun brand in the Chinese market, and have an alliance to sell low-cost cars in India.

GM, whose sales in China rose 19% from a year earlier to 181,625 vehicles last month, is counting on China, India and other emerging markets to prepare for what may be the second-largest initial public offering in U.S. history.

In December, GM and SAIC signed an agreement to invest $650 million to form a joint venture to sell cars in India. The American automaker plans to spend $250 million to introduce five SAIC models in Asia's second most populous nation, Karl Slym, president of GM's Indian unit said in July.
--This article was first published in Automotive News China, a publication of Crain Communications

Edipresse has hired Seth Hawthorne as general manager of its newly formed custom publishing division in Hong Kong, which oversees titles like Cotai Style Macao, the lifestyle magazine published on behalf of the China Sands hotel and casino. Previously, he was a sales director for Hong Kong and Macau at the stock image firm Photolibrary.
Omnicom Media Group has promoted Shanghai-based Ian Lee to chief operations officer for China, a newly-created position, from chief financial officer, China. OMG works with advertisers like Pepsi, Danone and Unilever in the mainland.
Hong Kong-based Tiger Gate Entertainment has appointed Alexis Kwong as VP, sales and marketing. Previously, he was program director at Next TV in Taiwan, working closely with founder Jimmy Lai to develop entertainment and variety shows. He has also worked at Sony Music and News Corp.'s Star Group in Asia. Tiger Gate has also hired Sorel Roget as senior manager, sales and marketing from the W hotel in Hong Kong, where she was director of revenue management. Tiger Gate operates two pay TV channels in Asia, KIX and Thrill.
Nielsen Co. has relocated Steve Laue to Hong Kong as director of consumer research-financial services from Sydney, where he was director of Nielsen's financial services team in Australia.
Midea Small Home Appliance Group has appointed Charm Communications to handle its TV media buying business for all its product lines starting next year. Charm's advertising division has been handling creative for Midea's Soy Milk Maker product line since 2009.
The Omnicom Group public relations agency Ketchum has appointed Mark Bainbridge as general manager of its Shanghai office. Most recently, Mr. Bainbridge was the managing director of JWT, Taipei. He has also served as managing director of Ogilvy & Mather, Shanghai.
Qinghai Huzhu Highland Barley Wine Sales Co. has appointed Optimedia, Beijing to handle media planning business for its Tianyoude liquor brand.

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