SEOUL, South Korea – Line Corp., the Japan-based operator of the namesake mobile messenger, will list its shares in New York and Tokyo next month.
Naver, the South Korean Internet company that wholly owns Line, said Friday that the move will help the iconic mobile messenger to better compete against global companies backed by big brand and capital. The proceeds from the initial public offering will be used to acquiring new companies and other strategies for global expansion.
With 215 million active global users, Line is hugely popular in Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia where many users regularly spend money on cute digital stickers and merchandised dolls. They also use the app to search music and job.
But it faces competition from Facebook, which has its own messenger and is gaining popularity in Asia.