SHANGHAI--Grayling has opened a new office in Shanghai, its first in mainland China.

The firm has hired Harriet Gaywood, formerly Shanghai head at MSL China, to lead the new operation. Gaywood will report to Grayling's regional MD Bruce Shu, who is based in Hong Kong.

The move brings the firm's Asia Pacific network of wholly-owned offices to four, alongside existing Grayling hubs in Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand.

“The opening of our first office in mainland China is an important and strategic step for Grayling," said Grayling CEO Michael Murphy. "We have the strongest network of wholly-owned offices of any PR company in Europe, and a growing presence in North America and The Middle East. One of our key priorities is to expand our presence in Asia Pacific and this move is the first of a number of steps we are taking to achieve this ambition.”