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Advertising firm Publicis strikes deal with Chinese internet giant Tencent

French advertising firm Publicis has struck a strategic partnership with Chinese internet giant Tencent, the companies announced on Friday, as it looks to help clients market in the world's second-largest economy.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but the two firms will partner across a number of different areas.

Tencent is one of China's biggest internet companies which owns WeChat, the country's biggest messaging app with 762 million users. It also owns a number of other messaging apps, as well as games and a new aggregating website.

SY Lau, president of Tencent's Online Media Group, and Maurice Levy, CEO of Publicis, sign a deal at the Viva Technology event in Paris on July 1, 2016.
Tencent
SY Lau, president of Tencent's Online Media Group, and Maurice Levy, CEO of Publicis, sign a deal at the Viva Technology event in Paris on July 1, 2016.

The partnership will see Tencent give Publicis access to its massive online behavioral data, allowing Publicis clients to improve their ad placements and conversions.

Both firms will co-create and co-invest on advertising content for brands. And the companies are also going to launch the "Drugstore", a program to mentor and invest in start-ups. It will focus on data, ad technology, virtual reality and augmented reality developments.

For Publicis, the deal will allow its clients to access a very mobile-savvy Chinese market, with the help of local knowledge provided by Tencent.

"Tencent is clearly the huge global leader in China, it is the dominant force for communication, therefore what we want to achieve ... is a full agreement between all Tencent assets, and all Publicis assets in order to best serve our clients ... the final goal is to bring to our clients all the assets of Tencent ... in order to communicate much better with consumers," Maurice Levy, chief executive of Publicis, told CNBC in an interview on Friday.

"Today we have more than 3,000 French enterprises in China ... trying to find ways of engaging Chinese users. China is moving so quickly ... in the world of mobility we need a new way of marketing," SY Lau, president of Tencent's Online Media Group, added.

The partnership continues Tencent's effort to establish a footprint beyond China. Tencent recently acquired European mobile game maker Supercell.