Line app developer mulls setting up Taiwanese office

Staff writer, with CNA

Fri, Aug 17, 2012 - Page 14

South Korea’s NHN Corp, the developer of the smartphone application Line, said yesterday that it was considering setting up an office in Taiwan due to the fast growth of its services in the country.

Kang Hyun-bin, head of the Line business office at NHN, said on the sidelines of a mobile application conference in Taipei that Taiwan has a big user base for the service and NHN was seeking new business models and cooperation opportunities with Taiwanese operators.

He said Taiwan has about 7 million Line users, and the figures are expected to grow to 9 million by the end of this year. Japan has the most users, at between 24 million and 25 million.

However, Taiwan has the highest rate of penetration of the service among smartphone users, at about 90 percent, NHN said.

Asked about possible cooperation with Taiwanese operators, Kang said NHN was looking for partners with “creativity” because they would more likely share a similar vision with NHN.

A smartphone application used in more than 230 countries and regions worldwide, Line allows its users to enjoy free calls and messages to one another.

Since the service was launched on June 23 last year, the number of registered users had reached 45 million as of July 2 this year, with 20 million in Japan, NHN said.

NHN hopes to reach the 100 million mark this year by expanding into the North American and Chinese markets and building up a solid user base in those areas.