Line Corporation

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Line Corporation
Native name
  • Hangame Japan (2000-2002)
  • NHN Japan (2003-2006)
  • NAVER Japan (2007-2012)
  • LINE[1] (2013-current)
IndustryInternet and Telecommunications
PredecessorNHN Japan
FoundedTokyo, Japan (September 4, 2000 (2000-09-04))
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)
OwnerZ Holdings (65.3%)
Number of employees
ParentZ Holdings
SubsidiariesLine Plus Corporation
Line Business Partners Corporation
DataHotel Co., Ltd.
Line Digital Frontier
Line Vietnam

Line Corporation is a Tokyo-based subsidiary of Z Holdings, which is jointly owned by Softbank Group and Naver Corporation. The company's business is mainly associated with the development of mobile applications and Internet services,[2] particularly the Line communication app.


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 acquire Livedoor in 2010.

In 2012, Naver merged the three entities (NHN Japan, Naver Japan, Livedoor) into a new subsidiary known as NHN Japan.[3]

On April 1, 2013, the company changed its name and traded as Line Corporation.[4] 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.[5]

In July 2016, Line Corporation held IPOs on both the New York Stock Exchange and the Tokyo Stock Exchange.[6]

In late December 2020, Line delisted from both the New York Stock Exchange and the Tokyo Stock Exchange,[7] in advance of its absorption-type merger agreement with Z Holdings.[8]

In March 2021 Line Corporation merged with Yahoo Japan, which has been operated by Z Holdings, a SoftBank Group subsidiary.[9] 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.[9][10][11] 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,[10] as well as the Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten.[9] The merger also gives Z Holdings three additional Asian markets where Line is popular: Taiwan, Thailand, and Indonesia.[9]

In December 2021, Line Corporation established LINE NEXT to launch NFT marketplace.[12][13]


  1. ^ "NAVER Timeline". November 16, 2019.
  2. ^ "LINE Corporation".
  3. ^ "Milestones : Company : NAVER". Archived from the original on 2013-10-22.
  4. ^ "LINE Corporation". LINE Corporation.
  5. ^ "Korean Internet Company NHN Splits To Battle Kakao (Updated)". Forbes. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "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.
  8. ^ "Form 6-K". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Line Corporation. December 2020. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  9. ^ a b c d "Yahoo Japan operator, Line merge to take on foreign tech giants". Kyodo News. 1 March 2021. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  10. ^ a b Masuda, Yoko (1 March 2021). "Yahoo Japan, Line integrate businesses to be major '3rd force'". The Asahi Shimbun. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  11. ^ Eun-Soo, Jin (1 March 2021). "Naver and SoftBank's A Holdings joint venture established". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  12. ^ "LINE Establishes LINE NEXT Corporation to Expand NFT Ecosystem".
  13. ^ [Japanese Software Giant Line Plans to Launch NFT Market Next Month "Japanese Software Giant Line Plans to Launch NFT Market Next Month"]. {{cite news}}: Check |url= value (help)

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