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How artificial intelligence is changing advertising in China: A conversation with Bessie Lee and Ching Law

Bessie Lee (Withinlink), Ching Law (Tencent)
14:35–15:15 Thursday, 11 October 2018
AI Business Summit
Location: Blenheim Room - Palace Suite
Secondary topics:  Media, Marketing, Advertising, Retail and e-commerce

Who is this presentation for?

  • C-level executives, founders of startups, and anyone interested in China

What you'll learn

  • Explore AI advertising applications in China
  • Learn how they can serve as roadmaps in other industries


Advertising in China is on the frontline of AI adoption and innovation. The majority of ad spend in China is already digital, and AI-based advertising thrives on the massive datasets available in China for number crunching and automation. The key driver for AI in advertising, however, is China’s hypercompetitive ecommerce market, which is more than double the size of its US counterpart.

Join Bessie Lee and Ching Law for a conversation on how AI is changing advertising. You’ll hear how China’s white-hot AI advertising applications can serve as roadmaps and spark ideas in other industries and how companies like Tencent are improving performance by leveraging AI technology. Tencent reaches more than 800 million active daily users, who share interesting contents and browse business updates on a diverse portfolio of quality platforms, such as WeChat, QQ, QZone, and many affiliated third-party apps. The company helps businesses engage this audience by delivering personalized marketing information through the employment of AI in all aspects of ad serving, including deep understanding of user preferences, pinpoint audience targeting, assisted campaign creation, programmatic creative generation, smart bid optimization, and end-to-end insights. Other China-based startups are using AI to analyze, categorize, and rank influencers, creating an open, blockchain-based micropayments marketplace that can include everyone on social media. Some are even pioneering dynamic creative optimization, where dozens of creative elements in a single creative ad are mixed and matched across different demographic user segments to find patterns that drive improved performance.

Photo of Bessie Lee

Bessie Lee


Bessie Lee is founder and CEO of Withinlink, a China-based startup incubator and early-stage venture fund focused on marketing technology that supports China’s media communications industry. With more than 28 years of experience in the media communications industry in Greater China, exclusively across a number of WPP companies, Bessie draws upon an extensive network of thought leaders as well as a team of C-suite media and marketing executives, investment professionals, and entrepreneurs to offer extensive experience in business management and networks to fund and mentor startups and to create winners. Previously, she was CEO of WPP China, where she was responsible for 14,000 employees and more than $1 billion in annual revenue, and the CEO of GroupM China, where over her seven-year tenure, GroupM’s media billings in the country tripled, and GroupM was named the number one media holding group in China in terms of billings for five consecutive years from 2007 to 2012, according to RECMA. Bessie is one of the most experienced and highly respected individuals in China’s media and martech industry, and her professional success is reflected in the many hats she wears as a frequent media commentator, blogger, and a highly sought-after international public speaker at events including Cannes Lions’s International Festival of Creativity, FT Future of Marketing, and RISE. She was also the innovation jury president at the Spikes Asia Awards 2017.

Bessie has received a number of international awards for her contributions to the media industry, including the 1990 Institute’s IGNITE Award in the US (2017), China’s Business Mulan Award from China Entrepreneur (2012), Media Person of the Year from the Communication University of China (2010), Media Person with Major Contribution to the Industry by China Advertising (2010), China’s top 10 most creative media professionals by the China Economic Newspaper Association (2007), and China’s top business women leaders by the All-China Women’s Federation (2006). She was recently honored as one of the 29 most inspiring women in digital, a prestigious recognition and an important symbol for female empowerment at and by DMEXCO, The Female Quotient, and Refinery29 in 2017. She was also named a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Women’s Empowerment 2010. She is an independent director on the board of Ecovacs, the world’s second largest robotic appliance company, and cofounder of the Mobile Marketing Association in China. In 2017, she was elected cochair to lead the association on key industry issues in a market with the highest mobile internet population in the world. An avid tennis fan, Bessie is also a member of the Women’s Tennis Association Global Advisory Council, where she advises the association on advertising, publicity, and marketing in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in China. She holds a master’s degree in communications from Illinois State University. She is based in Shanghai.

Photo of Ching Law

Ching Law


Ching Law is general manager of the Social and Performance Ads Department at Tencent, where he oversees engineering, products, marketing, and operations. Ching was instrumental in the development of GDT, the data and technology platform for Tencent social ads. Ching has over 12 years of experience in digital marketing and computational advertising systems. Previously, he spent eight years at Google, where he led audience and contextual targeting projects for AdSense. Ching holds a PhD in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.