Malaysian-born Cannes Lions award-winner speaks about future of digital connectivity
Also advises businesses on how to approach the China market
THE technological revolution and the profound changes brought by expanded connectivity will only become relevant when we ‘see’ the actual human face behind the device, according to Tencent Online Media Group (OMG) president S.Y. Lau (pic above).
“Just as electricity in the Second Industrial Revolution and the steam engine in the First Industrial Revolution, it is the same for the power of the Internet now,” he said.
“When mankind applied the power of imagination to production and innovations in many industries, the value we were able to produce grew exponentially,” he said in his opening day keynote at the 2015 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, where he is being recognised with the ‘Media Person of the Year’ award, the first such executive from a China-based company.
The Malaysian-born executive, whose keynote was titled The Human Face Behind the Device, also spoke about harnessing connectivity to unleash individual potential and drive societal change.
Tencent OMG is the digital media arm of Tencent Holdings, the company behind the WeChat messaging app.
Lau said Tencent was among the first to propose and champion ‘Internet Plus,’ a national digital blueprint in China that aims to integrate the mobile Internet, cloud computing, big data and the Internet of Things with modern manufacturing.
When it comes to approaching China in the digital age, Lau advised business professionals to adopt changes in mindset and spirit.
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“Firstly, be an imaginative seeker by thinking ‘Math Man,’ not just ‘Mad Man.’ Creative individuals need to stretch themselves to use technology to amplify the power of their imaginations,” he said.
“Secondly, embrace the adventurous entrepreneurial spirit by thinking about exploration, not just exploitation. Come to China and explore the opportunity whole-heartedly, but don't be too hasty to exploit the returns.
“Finally, learn more about the mindset of the global citizen by thinking cooperation, not competition. Competition is not the only pathway to success.
“We are no longer living in a zero sum world – we now have better ways to allocate, manage, and even maximise [resources],” he added.
The 62th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity from June 21-27 June is being attended by more than 1,500 advertising and marketing professionals from around the world, Tencent said in a statement.
Commenting on Lau’s award, Cannes Lions chief executive officer Terry Savage said, “He is an influential figure in today’s media landscape, having transformed Tencent Online Media Group into one of the largest and most successful integrated Internet media platforms in the world.
“We were delighted that he accepted the award in recognition of his many achievements,” he added.
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