Lin will be the managing director at We Are Social’s Shanghai operation. His 17-year career spans roles at Grey Shanghai, Grey and JWT in China.
He is joined by Ying Chang, the former associate creative director at AKQA, who will focus on creative direction.
There will be team of 15 people in the new shop. We Are Social is looking to hire a further five people.
The agency launches with three clients: Liebherr, the German construction equipment manufacturer; the Graduate Management Admission Council; and L'Oréal.
Lin said: "The social landscape in China is maturing, platforms are becoming more sophisticated and brands are increasingly seeking tangible benefits from their social presence in China.
"While there are obvious differences between social media in China and the West, We Are Social’s focus on human insight and creativity, not platforms, translates in any market.
"We’ll bring this approach to the Chinese market, and with it, we’re confident we’ll attract forward-thinking brands and the best talent to service them."
The launch of the Shanghai arm is the second global expansion for We Are Social after it launched an office in San Francisco in January.
Robin Grant, the global managing director at We Are Social, said: "China is an extremely important market for our global clients, but just as importantly, is increasingly leading the way in social media innovation. It was clear we needed to establish a presence here.
"Our global experience and the success of We Are Social’s approach of putting social thinking at the centre of our clients’ marketing strategies will be hugely beneficial to brands in China.
"Our expertise combined with the unparalleled local knowledge of Pete and his team is an impressive combination; one we’ve already seen resonating with brands even at this very early stage."