Line, the messaging app that has nabbed 490 million registered users in three years, announced its plans for becoming a major player in the ecommerce industry at a news conference in Tokyo today. The strategy marks an interesting inflection point for Line. The service gained popularity for it’s colorful stickers, grew its revenue base with mobile games , and now has its sights set on ecommerce.
When Japanese messaging app Line reveals its quarterly revenues, we know what to expect – growth, growth, growth. The quarter ending in June 2014 is no exception, as today the company revealed revenues for the app hit JPY 18.2 billion (about US$177 million), up 25 percent from the previous quarter and 146 percent year-on-year. As usual, the company hasn’t provided details regarding profits or losses, so there’s no telling how the growth may or may not compensate for the ad dollars the company is throwing in markets all over the world.
SEOUL: Line Corp, a Japan-based social messaging service firm, has filed for an initial public offering in the United States, Bloomberg News reported on Friday, citing unidentified sources. Line’s parent company, South Korea’s Naver Corp, said on Wednesday that Line had filed for an initial public offering in Tokyo. Banking sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Wednesday that the listing will ultimately be either a dual US-Japan listing or a listing only in the United States.
Thai shoppers, rejoice – popular Japanese chat app Line, which has 24 million registered users in the Land of Smiles, just rolled out a standalone ecommerce app specifically for its fans in Thailand. The move follows the company’s release of a similar app for Japan last March. We took that app for a test drive but couldn’t really get more than a superficial understanding of what it was about due to this writer’s inability to read Japanese. Luckily, however, Thailand’s Line Shop is partially in English, so it’s time to jump iTunes’ fence again and go for a spin.
Both Reuters and the Wall Street Journal say this afternoon say they have it on good authority that messaging app Line is set to file for a huge IPO with the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSX). No other details are available. This is contrary to the words of NHN CFO Hwang In-joon last year when he said that the firm was considering listing Line in the US in order to boost its global standing.
One week ago, internet users in China started to report malfunctions on popular foreign services Line, KakaoTalk, Flickr, and OneDrive. The disruptions have yet to subside at the time of writing. Media organizations including Tech in Asia have run their own unscientific tests and found that some users in the mainland cannot access or use these services. GreatFire.org, an anonymous organization that monitors online censorship in China, claimed that that these services have indeed been “blocked” by Chinese authorities.
Have Chinese authorities added Japanese chat app Line to its internet blacklist? [See bottom for update from Greatfire.org] Today our colleagues in mainland China fired up Line, where Tech in Asia houses its non-urgent communications, only to find that messages they sent were marked with an exclamation point, indicating some sort of technical error. That might not mark an immediate cause for concern. Line goes down frequently, not unlike any other social network, and even suffered a major outage two days ago.
Early last month popular Japanese messaging app Line officially opened up its Creators Market in Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and Indonesia, letting graphic designers sell their own graphics to users while splitting the fees 50-50 with the company. The market not only produced some extremely cool stickers, but brought in some respectable revenues for Line as well. In its first month of operations, the company brought in JPY 150 million (about US$1.47 million) in sales and doled out 1.7 million sticker sets.
TOKYO, June 19 — Smartphone messenger application Line, which has hundreds of millions of users across Asia, was urging people to change their passwords today as Japanese police investigated the hacking of hundreds of accounts. At least 303 cases of unauthorised access were confirmed between late May and June 14, including three that involved cash trades resulting in financial loss, a Line spokesman told AFP, without providing further details.
TAIPEI — Japan’s Line Corp., creator of the fast-growing social messaging app Line, said Wednesday that it will begin a pilot program June 10 to host flash sales for consumer brands in Taiwan, one of its largest markets in the world. Taiwanese Line users can add an official account for the “Line Flash Sale” to their “friends” list from Thursday, which will give them access to exclusive sale events on the platform, including sales of cosmetics, footwear and Line’s own branded merchandise.
Chinese Android app store Wandoujia has reached a deal with Japan’s top messaging app Line for Wandoujia to run Line’s business and marketing in mainland China. Under the deal, Wandoujia will reportedly provide technical support for Line’s operation in mainland China. They will also jointly enhance Line’s localized content resource and operation, integrate brand marketing of both parties, and combine their platform advantages to assist quality developers and content providers.
Japan-made messaging app Line revealed today that it now has 400 million registered users. While the app is most popular in Japan, it boasts having over 10 million users in 10 countries – including Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Mexico, and the US. The company also revealed today that the chat app hit new highs in 2014 in terms of usage – 10 billion messages in one day; 1.8 billion stickers sent in a single day; and over 12 million online calls in one day.