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SY Lau, head of the online media group at Chinese Internet giant Tencent, is to receive the ‘media person of the year award’ from the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the annual advertising industry festival.

Previous recipients have included Google’s Eric Schmidt, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, HBO’s Richard Plepler and YouTube’s Salar Kamangar.

The Lions organizers said Lau had been named: “for his leadership in overseeing the emergence of Tencent’s OMG as China’s leading online communications, social and entertainment service company. Lau’s vision and direction have transformed OMG from a provider of a single Internet portal service into China’s largest and most admired integrated media service matrix,”

“This award not only demonstrates the success of Tencent OMG, but also highlights the rise of China as a global force for online innovation, creativity and for the highest quality content,” said Lau.

Tencent operates the WeChat messaging service and is the world’s largest online games platform. The online media group spans the Tencent News Portal, Tencent Video, Tencent Weibo, Tencent Weishi and mobile media products such as Tencent News and Tencent Portfolio.

Lau, an alumnus of Rutgers State University and Harvard Business School, has een with Tencent for nine years. Hi is executive VP of Tencent and President of its Online Media Group.

The award will be presented in Cannes on June 23. The festival runs June 21-27.