Staff Reporters
Jun 29, 2020

Asia-Pacific Power List 2020: Seng Yee Lau, Tencent

Working for a company as critical to Chinese digital marketing as Tencent, Lau's growth priorities hold a lot of influence over the success of many brands.

Asia-Pacific Power List 2020: Seng Yee Lau, Tencent
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers

Seng Yee Lau

Senior executive vice president, chairman of group marketing and global branding
Returning member

For a giant company like Tencent, many of whose products and services like WeChat and QQ are ubiquitous in China, brand recognition can sometimes take care of itself. But keeping brands forward-facing and highly regarded is a continual challenge that Seng Yee Lau has taken on. 

At no time has Tencent's reputation been more at stake than during COVID-19 when the company took center stage in fighting the pandemic that extended well beyond cash and goods donations, providing open-source tools and guidance for new technologies to help medical professionals as well as new remote working solutions. 

Since joining in 2006, Lau has been the de facto spokesperson for the internet company on behalf of its elusive, quiet co-founder and chairman, Pony Ma. As a member of the holding company's top leadership committee, Lau represents the holding company in forging a steady stream of partnerships with other brands globally and presides over its own group marketing and global branding initiatives. 

Marketing strategy has changed radically in China from year to year with the rapid adoption of new technologies. And under Lau's guidance, Tencent has become a facilitator of marketing innovation. Its cooperation with both domestic and multinational brands extends well beyond media distribution and deep into targeted digital marketing abilities thanks to Tencent's rich trove of user data. This data is possibly Tencent's most prized commodity and Lau's data partnerships with brands and agency networks have been strategic. Playing a lead role as an enabler for brands, Tencent has grown its social media advertising business as a critical revenue source. 

For more than a decade Lau held the position of president of the Online Media Group, whose holdings include Tencent News, Tencent Video, Tencent Sports and Penguin Pictures. Styled as a ‘digital evangelist’, he is often called upon to share his insights on the value of innovation to the Chinese people's livelihoods. 

Lau continues to speak frequently at major events, including IMF Forums, Boao Asia, Viva Technology, G20, Cannes Lions; and on executive programs of academic institutions such as Harvard, Stanford and Oxford. 

Lau can be found on Twitter at: @SengYeeLau

Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers


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