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Line Corporation
28-06-2018, 08:55 PM.
Post: #1
Line Corporation
Line Defies Cryptocurrency Bears to Open Exchange in Singapore

By Pavel Alpeyev
June 28, 2018, 4:44 PM GMT+8

Line Corp., Japan’s biggest messaging service, is opening a cryptocurrency exchange next month even amid Bitcoin selloff that’s fueled pessimism over the future of virtual currencies.

The exchange, called Bitbox, will offer trading between more than 30 virtual tokens including bitcoin, ethereum, bitcoin cash and litecoin, but not fiat currencies, the Japanese company said at an annual strategy briefing in Tokyo on Thursday. The website will be available in 15 languages to users worldwide, except for those in Japan and the U.S. Bitbox will charge a 0.1 percent trading fee.

Chief Executive Officer Takeshi Idezawa laid out a vision of a token-based economy that places blockchain technology at the center of the messengers’s efforts to tie together its various commerce, entertainment and media offerings. The move into cryptocurrencies comes at a time when the industry faces increasing regulatory scrutiny and security concerns that pushed the price of bitcoin about 60 percent lower this year. Line is expanding into financial services to reduce reliance on advertising revenue and offer a way to gain subscribers in countries dominated by Facebook Inc.’s Messenger and WhatsApp.
The company, which established Line Financial Corp. in January, has also applied for a license to open a cryptocurrency exchange in Japan. The messenger has been offering Line Pay smartphone wallet service since 2014 and has attracted more than 40 million registered users worldwide. Line is investing 30 billion yen ($272 million) in fintech and AI operations this fiscal year and plans to expand its services to include lending and insurance.

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18-11-2019, 06:42 PM.
Post: #2
RE: Line Corporation
SoftBank to create $30 billion tech giant with Yahoo Japan, Line Corp merger

Reporting by Sam Nussey; Additional reporting by Ju-min Park in Seoul; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Christopher Cushing
NOVEMBER 18, 2019 / 7:03 AM

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s SoftBank Corp plans to merge internet unit Yahoo Japan with messaging app operator Line Corp to create a $30 billion tech giant, as it bags struggling internet companies to bulk up against rivals like Rakuten Inc.

The telco in a statement said Yahoo Japan, which last month changed its name to Z Holdings Corp, will merge with Line, owned by South Korea’s Naver Corp, in a deal to be completed in October 2020.

The companies aim for a definitive agreement by next month in a transaction that will see SoftBank Corp and Naver form a 50:50 venture that will control Z Holdings, which will in turn operate Yahoo Japan and Line.

SoftBank Corp and Naver, which owns 73% of money-losing Line, plan to launch a tender offer for Line’s remaining shares at 5,200 yen each - a 13.4% premium to the shares’ price before news of the merger broke. Line’s shares were up 2.6% at 5,180 yen in early Tokyo trade on Monday.

Line has been looking for growth through expansion into areas such as QR code payments with Line Pay, but has been squeezed because of its limited funds and heavy-spending peers including SoftBank, which has a rival service called PayPay.

The merger deal is the latest example of consolidation in Japan’s technology industry. SoftBank this month completed its acquisition of online fashion retailer Zozo Inc, whose founder and ex-Chief Executive Yusaku Maezawa sold down his stake following a series of missteps.

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