LONDON - WPP Group announced Wednesday it to buy a 95% stake in Chinese consulting firm ACSR to meet increasing demand for research data to tap the booming Chinese consumer market.

The new joint venture, which is subject to approval by Chinese authorities, will form the China offices of WPP unit Millward Brown, which sells qualitative and quantitative research on brand image, customer service and retail management issues.

Says Millward Brown's Asia-Pacific ceo Andreas Sperling: "More and more Chinese people are moving into a Western type of consumption, where it is about brands - not only distribution and products. We have the knowhow to help companies with that."