Line app crash impacts 17 million in Taiwan

FEELING OF APP-LESSNESS::Many users believe the instant messaging application crashed because of a promotion for the company’s Line Game anniversary

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Nov 20, 2013 - Page 3

More than 17 million mobile phone users nationwide were unable to use the instant messaging application Line for about an hour yesterday due to a system crash.

The application’s assistant manager in Taiwan, Sting Tao (陶韻智), said the application was frozen between 10:05am and 11:02am due to a system overload, and the company was investigating the incident.

Although the app’s mobile phone system was down, people could still send messages through the application if they had it installed on their computers.

Some users suspect the system may have crashed because of the Line Game anniversary, which began at 10am and featured distribution of free emoticons. A rapid surge in traffic could have caused the servers to crash, they said.

The operator apologized for the inconvenience caused by the crash.

Many Line users in Taiwan, one of the app’s highest traffic areas in Asia, left messages on the application’s Facebook page.

“I can’t send any text messages; the entire system has crashed,” one said.

“It turns out that everybody experienced the same thing. I thought it had something to do with my Internet connection. Hurry and fix it, please,” another said.

Another person said the Line crash was worse than a crash on Facebook because it has become a huge part of people’s lives.

Some complained they had lost the icons they had purchased as well as their contacts.

Rival instant messaging apps saw the crash as a marketing opportunity, with WeChat saying its system was functioning normally and people could send texts through its system.

Line, owned by South Korea’s Naver Corp, is expected to have a market capitalization of between ¥800 billion and ¥1 trillion (US$8 billion and US$10 billion) if it goes public on the Tokyo Stock Exchange next summer, the Japanese business daily Nikkei Shimbun reported late last month.

The LINE app, developed in Japan, reportedly has more than 270 million users worldwide, with 80 percent of them outside Japan.

Additional reporting by CNA