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Line Corporation

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Line Corporation
Native name
Line 株式会社
  • Hangame Japan (2000-2002)
  • NHN Japan (2003-2013)
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryInternet and Telecommunications
PredecessorNHN Japan
FoundedSeptember 4, 2000; 23 years ago (2000-09-04), in Tokyo, Japan
DefunctOctober 1, 2023
FateMerged with Z Holdings and Yahoo! Japan
SuccessorLY Corporation
Area served
Key people
Takeshi Idezawa, CEO
ProductsLine, livedoor
ServicesLine App, Line Manga, Line Play, Line Taxi
Revenue¥166.4B "$1.5B USD" (2020)
Total assets¥541.4B "$5B USD"(2020)
Total equity¥147.7B "$1.4B USD" (2020)
Number of employees
ParentZ Holdings (65.3%)
SubsidiariesLine Plus Corporation
Line Business Partners Corporation
DataHotel Co., Ltd.
Line Digital Frontier
Line Vietnam
Line Company Thailand

Line Corporation (Line 株式会社, Rain Kabushiki gaisha) was a Japanese Internet company. It was a subsidiary of Z Holdings, a joint venture between SoftBank Group and Naver Corporation. It was established in 2000 as the Japanese subsidiary of South Korean NHN Corporation's online game community site Hangame, under the name Hangame Japan[1]. In 2003, it was renamed NHN Japan and in 2013, it was rebranded as Line Corporation.

The company operates various internet services, including the communication app Line, as well as Line Music, and Line Manga, and Line Pay.

In 2019, during the merger with Yahoo, Line Corporation (the original entity) was reorganized into a holding company and established as Line Split Preparation Corporation, and in 2021, it changed its company name to Line Corporation (2nd generation) by taking over the business from the original entity. At this time, the original entity changed its name to A Holdings Corporation.

On February 2, 2023, it was announced that Z Holdings and Yahoo would merge during the fiscal year 2023.[2] On October 1 of the same year, Yahoo, Z Entertainment, and Z Data merged into Z Holdings and changed their name to "Line Yahoo Corporation."[3][4] Line Corporation transferred its assets, rights, and businesses to Line Yahoo Corporation through absorption-type split except for certain overseas stocks, and changed its name to the current one.[5] It is expected to become a holding company managing overseas subsidiaries' stocks and other assets through business reorganization.



Line Corporation was founded on September 4, 2000, as Hangame Japan as a part of Hangame, a South Korean game company owned by NHN at the time. In August 2003, the company was renamed to NHN Japan.

In 2007 Naver established another Japanese subsidiary Naver Japan, which managed the Naver search engine in Japan before its demise. Naver Japan acquired Livedoor in 2010.

In 2012, Naver merged the three entities (NHN Japan, Naver Japan, Livedoor) into a new subsidiary known as NHN Japan.[6]

On April 1, 2013, the company changed its name and traded as Line Corporation.[7] Later that same year, NHN split into two companies, Naver Corporation and NHN Entertainment Corporation and the latter created a new NHN Japan Corporation subsidiary.[8]

In July 2016, Line Corporation held IPOs on both the New York Stock Exchange and the Tokyo Stock Exchange.[9]

In late December 2020, Line delisted from both the New York Stock Exchange and the Tokyo Stock Exchange,[10] in advance of its absorption-type merger agreement with Z Holdings.[11]

In March 2021 Line Corporation merged with Yahoo Japan, which has been operated by Z Holdings, a SoftBank Group subsidiary.[12] Under the new structure, Naver Corporation (Line's former parent company) and SoftBank Corp. (the wireless carrier unit of SoftBank Group) each hold 50 percent stakes in a new company named A Holdings Corp., which holds a majority stake in Z Holdings, which will operate Line and Yahoo Japan.[12][13][14] Upon integrating the two businesses and creating further platforms, the merged company aims to compete with the U.S. tech giants Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple and the Chinese tech giants Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent,[13] as well as the Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten.[12] The merger also gives Z Holdings three additional Asian markets where Line is popular: Taiwan, Thailand, and Indonesia.[12]

In April 2021, Line Corporation launched Line Bank, a commercial bank headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan.[15][16][17]

In February 2023, Z Holdings announced its intention to merge its subsidiaries, Line and Yahoo Japan.[18] In April, it was announced that the merger would be implemented on October 1, along with a simultaneous name change to LY Corporation.[19]


  1. ^ ハンゲームジャパン
  2. ^ "Line とヤフー、親会社のZホールディングスと3社で合併へ". 読売新聞. 2023-02-02. Retrieved 2023-02-02.
  3. ^ ヤフー株式会社と Line 株式会社の利用規約統合のご案内
  4. ^ [1][2][3]
  5. ^ グループ内再編(子会社の現物配当による孫会社の異動ならびに完全子会社との吸収合併および吸収分割)および子会社の商号変更に関する決定のお知らせ
  6. ^ "Milestones : Company : Naver". www.navercorp.com. Archived from the original on 2013-10-22.
  7. ^ "Line Corporation". Line Corporation.
  8. ^ "Korean Internet Company NHN Splits To Battle Kakao (Updated)". Forbes. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  9. ^ Fiegerman, Seth (13 July 2016). "Line goes public: what you need to know about the year's biggest tech IPO". CNN Business. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  10. ^ "Announcement Regarding the Delisting of the Common Shares of Line Corporation from the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the Delisting of the American Depositary Shares from the New York Stock Exchange" (PDF). Line Corporation. 28 December 2020. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  11. ^ "Form 6-K". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Line Corporation. December 2020. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  12. ^ a b c d "Yahoo Japan operator, Line merge to take on foreign tech giants". Kyodo News. 1 March 2021. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  13. ^ a b Masuda, Yoko (1 March 2021). "Yahoo Japan, Line integrate businesses to be major '3rd force'". The Asahi Shimbun. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  14. ^ Eun-Soo, Jin (1 March 2021). "Naver and SoftBank's A Holdings joint venture established". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  15. ^ "Line Bank to trial this week, launch by next month". Archived from the original on 2021-06-06. Retrieved 2021-06-18.
  16. ^ "Internet-only Line Bank Commences Trial Operations in Taiwan". Retrieved 2021-06-18.
  17. ^ "Japan's Line Banks on Fintech in Taiwan". Archived from the original on 2021-06-06. Retrieved 2021-06-18.
  18. ^ 日経ビジネス電子版. "Zホールディングスがヤフー・Line 社と合併、なぜ「Line 寄り」人事なのか". 日経ビジネス電子版 (in Japanese). Retrieved 2023-07-10.
  19. ^ "ZHD、新社名は「Line ヤフー」 10月にIDを連携". 日本経済新聞 (in Japanese). 2023-04-28. Retrieved 2023-07-10.