The Asian reporter. (Portland, Or.) 1991-current, April 04, 2016, Image 1

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    The Asian Reporter
Pacific Northwest News q Volume 26 Number 7 q April 4, 2016 q www.asianreporter.com
Message service Line entering
carrier business in Japan
Film’s vision of future
HK unsettles Beijing
Page 2
Unique pieces at Art
Basel Hong Kong fair
Page 4
BOTTOM LINE. Popular characters of Line Corp. are seen during a press conference of Line Conference Tokyo 2016 in Urayasu, near Tokyo. Although social-media
companies have struggled to gain revenue, Line, now used in 230 nations, including Asia, South America, and Africa, has succeeded in unusual ways, such as merchandis-
ing its mascot-like characters as dolls, which are sold in real stores. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
By Yuri Kageyama
AP Business Writer
RAYASU, Japan — Line Corp.,
which offers a popular mobile
message and online voice-call
service, is entering the mobile carrier busi-
ness in Japan, promising to underprice
competition as it grows its platform for
news, music, games, live streaming, and
online shopping.
U
Korean hitters try
to succeed in MLB
Page 7
Tokyo-based Line, founded five years
ago, already has a billion global registered
users, 215 million of them active each
month on average. That makes it bigger on
mobile than Facebook or Twitter in Japan.
Line executives outlined the company’s
future strategy at a suburban theater, and
also highlighted some achievements, such
as racking up 120.7 billion yen ($1.1
billion) in sales last year.
Jun Masuda, chief strategy and mar-
keting officer, told reporters that the
mobile-carrier service will be launched in a
few months, starting at an affordable 500
yen ($4.40) per month and offering reliable
connectivity using the telecommunications
infrastructure of major Japanese carrier
NTT DoCoMo.
In Japan, many mobile users pay four
times that much or more per month for
data transmission and voice calls. Line
Continued on page 13
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