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Parent Company: LINE Corporation

Brand value: $3,185 Mil.

Headquarter city: Tokyo

Industry: Technology

Year formed: 2011

Line is a messenger application that was launched in 2011. Line soon caught on as a homegrown Japanese alternative to hybrid social network and messaging services like Kakao; as of 2019, Line boasts 194 million users globally, including some 80 million in Japan. The brand first distinguished itself with an especially enjoyable and cute range of “stamps” and characters that can be used to enhance messaging; many of these characters are also featured in the app’s world of music, games, cartoons, and other entertainment. After growing from a messaging app to a social and entertainment hub, the next move for Line has been an aggressive move into the world of payments, finance, and commerce (which will also strategically reduce Line’s reliance on advertising revenue). The brand has recently grown its Line Pay offerings with a flurry of partnerships with Mercari, Mizuho, Nomura, and Tencent, as well as a campaign that let people send a free ¥1,000 gift to friends. Today, about 34 million of Line’s Japanese users are also Line Pay members. The company has also recently unveiled a coding hub and AI assistant, as well as a credit score function that will link users to special offers from brands like AirBnB. Line Corporation is listed on the Tokyo and New York Stock Exchanges, while majority owner Naver is listed on the Korea Stock Exchange.