The investment includes WE Marketing and WE Digital, with offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Nanjing. There will be no changes to the branding or management structure after the transaction.
WE Group's other operations, including WE Commerce and WE Tech, remain as separate units under the group, which was founded in 2005.
HNAECG has been building up its resources in media, film, television, sports, scenic entertainment, mobile gaming, and even Beijing and Kunqu Opera, with an ambition to become a leading culture and entertainment industry group.
Its subsidiary companies include one in airport advertising, but in the field of marketing communication, WE is its first investment, pointed out Viveca Chan, WE's chairman and CEO. "They bought us because there isn’t a China-based independent agency of our size that has branding, creative, social, digital capabilities with both global and local clients,” she said.
Clement Wei, CEO of HNAECG, commented, "WE is undoubtedly an outstanding player in the marketing communication industry, and our share purchase of WE is based on full consideration of its industry leadership and the business ambitions shared by both parties.
"The share purchase by HNAECG will create unprecedented momentum for our further growth," added Chan. "We will be able to leverage much more media and content assets for our clients, with the group's resources at our disposal. The investment also increases our ability to buy into ad-tech and data analytics in the future."