Rather than criticize China for copying intellectual property, investors in the West should look to China for leadership in the tech sector, the CEO of British advertising giant WPP told CNBC on Tuesday.
Martin Sorrell's comments follow the company's purchase of U.K. based digital consultancy Cognifide and the acquisition of Shanghai-based gift specialist Egift Design and Production by its subsidiary JWT, both announced on Monday.
"Others in the West tend to decry China [and say] that they copy or even, should I say, steal IP. We used to say the same thing about Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan, and look what's happened in those markets," he said.
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"The same thing is true of China, what we're seeing is that China has leadership in technology," he added.
China is WPP's third-largest market. The firm employs 16,000 people there and last year generated $1.6 billion in revenue, Sorrell said.
Sorrell told CNBC he expected his firm's China business to grow between 6 and 7 percent in 2014, compared with growth of 6 percent in 2013.
"Our Chinese business is very strong… I often wish that other parts of our business in other parts of the world were as good," he added.
Last month WPP reported an 18.7 percent rise in pre-tax profits to 1.29 billion pounds ($2.13 billion) for 2013, outpacing rivals Publicis and Omnicom, whose upcoming merger is set to eclipse WPP as the biggest player in the market.