Freemavens, the leading UK digital market research company, is expanding its footprint internationally and proud to announce the opening of a new office in Shanghai. This expansion will give clients greater access to insights from a key growth market enabling valuable market research, data analysis and consumer understanding.

Following the success of several pilot projects working with local data platforms, Freemavens have appointed Anna Liu as China Market Lead. Anna will oversee the development of the new Freemavens China team and lead client projects from Shanghai.

Liu has years of experience helping brands uncover key insights across the Asia markets. She will work closely with Freemavens UK strategy team, reporting into Chief Strategy Officer Mehmet Fidanboylu. Fidanboylu says: “Our expansion into China is a huge milestone for Freemavens; allowing us to better service our clients at both global and local levels, unlocking access to new datasets and skills, and accelerating opportunities for innovation. We couldn’t be more excited to take this next step and look forward to continued growth in the pursuit of bigger, bolder, and more transformative revelations.”

Part of the international marketing group MSQ, Freemavens’ decision to launch in China follows growing client demand to better understand consumers in one of the world’s fastest growing economies. Since it was founded in 2013, Freemavens has been an international business — working with some of the world’s most ambitious brands including Unilever, L’Oréal, GSK and Pernod Ricard, to deliver hundreds of projects for more than 50 markets.

Bucking the industry trend of working with translators, Freemavens has instead chosen to employ analysts, strategists and data scientists in its London headquarters who are native speakers of over 15 languages: allowing for deeper local knowledge and an understanding of slang and cultural nuance. The opening of the Shanghai office will continue this theme with better opportunities to work in local dialects within China and additional languages across the APAC region. Crucially, a base in Shanghai also unlocks access to data from local digital platforms such as Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent & JD, which are inaccessible outside of China.

The China team will have the support of both the Freemavens leadership team, and other MSQ agencies already based in Asia. The team will be based at MSQ’s Shanghai HQ, located in the Xuhui District. Peter Reid, MSQ Chief Executive, says “MSQ continues to quickly expand thanks to our ability to help brands from all over the world build closer customer relationships and accelerate growth. To do that effectively requires the sharpest insights, and in Freemavens, we have the best Research & Insights business in the game. It’s a natural step to extend their reach to new markets, and I have no doubt that they will see great success as part of our thriving Asia operations.”