Terry Savage, the chairman of Cannes Lions, presented the award to Lau. Savage said: "Over the past few years, his leadership has transformed Tencent Online Media Group into one of the largest and most successful integrated internet media platforms in the world."
Since its 2011 launch, Tencent has offered online media services and platforms to Chinese audiences, including video streaming, news, microblogging and other related services. In January 2015, an average of 250 million users read Tencent news via mobile daily.
Lau became the first executive of a Chinese company to receive this award. He told the audience: "I accept this award humbly, not for myself, but on behalf of all the dream makers at Tencent."
Hongfeng Yang, the secretary-general and chairman of the China Advertising Association, said: "This honour contributes significantly to showcasing the development of China's media industry to a global audience. It represents a huge confidence boost to all of us within the industry in China."
Past recipients of the award include: Eric Schmidt, the former executive chairman of Google; Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and chief executive of Facebook; Richard Plepler, the chief executive of HBO, and Salar Kamangar, the chief executive of YouTube.
Click here to watch SY Lau accept the Media Person of the Year award at Cannes.