Thu, May 09, 2019 - Page 12 News List

Line to invest NT$3bn in Taiwan’s fintech, content

USERS KNOW BEST:Although they are not Line’s biggest user base, Taiwanese understand its services, making Taiwan an ideal location to test new services, the firm said

By Kao Shih-ching  /  Staff reporter

Line co-CEO Jungho Shin attends an event in Taipei yesterday to announce that the company is to invest NT$3 billion in Taiwan over the next three years.

Photo: Liao Chien-ying, Taipei Times

Over next three years, Line Corp plans to invest NT$3 billion (US$97.02 million) in Taiwan, as it aims to expand into areas such as financial technology, e-commerce and digital content, co-CEO Jungho Shin told a news conference in Taipei yesterday.

It would be another significant investment in Taiwan for the Tokyo-based firm after its subsidiary, Line Financial Corp, invested NT$4.82 billion in Line Financial Taiwan Corp (台灣連線金融科技) in March in a bid to launch the Web-only Line Bank in Taiwan.

Line Financial Taiwan holds a 49.9 percent stake in Line Bank, which would cost the firm NT$4.99 billion if the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) grants it the license later this year.

“The Taiwanese market is a great investment environment, as people embrace new technologies and there are many talented people who can help us develop digital innovations,” Shin said.

The firm plans to introduce new services in Taiwan over the next three years and would expand them into other markets if they prove successful, he said.

Line Corp does not have the largest user base in Taiwan, but Taiwanese consumers understand the company’s messaging and other services best, which made Line Corp think it would be a good idea to test its other services in the nation, Shin said.

“I am often surprised at Taiwanese users who have always been willing to give feedback on our new services,” he said.

The firm’s electronic payment service, Line Pay, has achieved huge success in Taiwan, with the number of users totaling 6.04 million and the number of shops using the tool surpassing 120,000 as of Wednesday last week, Shin said.

“The way Line Pay has been promoted here has become a model for our marketing teams in other countries,” Shin said.

Line Taiwan Ltd (台灣連線) would spend the NT$3 billion investing in business partners, expanding its businesses and recruiting more employees, Shin said.

Line, which started as a communication software provider, but gradually expanded into e-commerce and mobile payments, believes artificial intelligence and fintech to be the fields with the most potential, Shin said.

The firm would consider investing in start-ups or signing mergers and acquisitions with companies in the two sectors, he said.

The firm’s new services, including Line Bank, Line Music and Line TV, would also be expanded, while the company would recruit more talent, he said.

Line Corp is a subsidiary of South Korean Internet search giant Naver Corp.

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