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WPP appoints former Baidu executive Ya-Qin Zhang to board

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FILE PHOTO: Ya-Qin Zhang, President of Baidu.com, attends the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos

WPP appoints former Baidu executive Ya-Qin Zhang to board

FILE PHOTO: Ya-Qin Zhang, President of Baidu.com, attends the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos

(Reuters) - WPP <WPP.L>, the world's biggest advertising company, on Monday named former Baidu Inc <BIDU.O> president Ya-Qin Zhang as a non-executive director, adding technological heft as it grapples with rising competition from digital marketing.

The company has been looking to simplify its business after clients complained it was too slow and unwieldy, prompting them to take some ad work in house and others to go directly to tech giants, including Facebook Inc <FB.O> and Alphabet Inc's <GOOGL.O> Google.

WPP Chairman Roberto Quarta said the company will benefit from Zhang's understanding of the fast-growing market of China.

Zhang, who spent 16 years with Microsoft <MSFT.O> in both the United States and China, will join WPP's board in January next year.

(This story has been refiled to add dropped word in paragraph 2)

(Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)