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ipinyouiPinYou, a Chinese company that automates programmatic digital ad buying through bidding algorithms, has opened a U.S. headquarters, and it has chosen to put it in Bellevue, Wash.

Dr. Sara Ye, who has more than 16 years of experience in senior digital marketing roles in the U.S. and China, will lead the Bellevue office. The U.S. office will help American companies break into China’s advertising market.

“Our presence in the Northwest provides an opportunity to connect the region’s business leaders and brands with China’s rapidly growing consumer market,” Dr. Ye said in a statement. “There are several perceived obstacles to enter the Chinese market, most notably language barriers and understanding the country’s unique programmatic buying ecosystem, and we’re here to help brands navigate these challenges and expand their businesses.”

Dr. Sara Ye will lead iPinYou's Bellevue office.
Dr. Sara Ye will lead iPinYou’s U.S. office in Bellevue, Wash.

The Bellevue office is iPinYou’s first international location. The company chose Bellevue because it represents an intersection of engineering prowess, marketing savvy and talent supply. Eventually, the company would like to open up the Chinese market to all major regions of the world. But for now, its focus is on North America.

“The regional characteristics of Chinese consumer preferences are significantly different from North American markets, and we hope our leading expertise in the region provides overseas advertisers the confidence to establish themselves in the Chinese market, said Grace Huang, iPinYou’s founder and CEO.”

IPinYou says it has a nearly 60 percent share of the automated ad buying market in China. Last year, iPinYou closed a $78 million “pre-IPO” funding round led by state-owned telecommunication company China Mobile.

Right now, iPinYou is operating out of a temporary office in Bellevue, but it is looking for a permanent space in downtown with room for 25 to 35 people.

Bellevue has quickly become a popular destination for Chinese companies looking for a foothold in the U.S. Chinese online retail titan Alibaba last month moved its Seattle engineering office to the City Center Bellevue building in downtown Bellevue, where it employs 40 people — mostly engineers. The Global Innovation Exchange (GIX), a new technology institute opening later this fall as an equal partnership between University of Washington and China’s Tsinghua University, is also based in Bellevue.

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