What Company Owns Line: Unveiling the Corporate Giant Behind the Popular App

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Line is a communication app that has significantly impacted the way people connect with each other digitally, particularly in Asia. Developed by the company Line Corporation, it provides a platform for instant messaging, sharing multimedia, and various other forms of digital communication. It is particularly recognized for its role in maintaining communication during the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Ownership of Line has undergone significant changes over the years. The company behind this popular app is a consolidated subsidiary of South Korean internet conglomerate Naver Corporation and Japanese telecommunications powerhouse SoftBank Group. As a result of corporate restructuring and mergers, the service’s ownership reflects a blend of influence from these major Asian technology players.

Key Takeaways

  • Line is an influential social communication platform predominantly used in Asia.
  • Line Corporation, a joint venture between Naver Corporation and SoftBank Group, owns the app.
  • The app’s ownership has evolved through various mergers and business decisions.

Ownership and Parent Company


This section explores the corporate structure of LINE Corporation, including its parent companies and various subsidiaries that contribute to its operations.

Overview of LINE Corporation

LINE Corporation is renowned for its flagship service LINE, a popular messaging application. Established in 2000 and currently based in Tokyo, Japan, LINE has expanded its offerings to include various life-enriching services, such as digital wallets and entertainment platforms. The company’s efforts to integrate communication with daily services have made it a significant entity in the tech industry.

Parent Companies and Subsidiaries

LINE Corporation falls under a complex corporate structure. One of the key players in its ownership hierarchy is Z Holdings, renowned for its operation of Yahoo Japan, among other business ventures. Z Holdings itself is a subsidiary, held by A Holdings Corp, which is a joint venture between two influential enterprises: SoftBank Group and Naver Corporation.

  • SoftBank Group: A multinational conglomerate holding company that has a diverse portfolio, including shares in technology, energy, and financial sectors.

  • Naver Corporation: South Korea-based, it’s a leading Internet company, most noted for its search engine and various online platforms and services.

Finally, the strategic alliance between the Japanese internet giant, SoftBank, and the South Korean web portal powerhouse, Naver, forms A Holdings Corp, the parent entity designed to meld their respective subsidiaries, LINE and Yahoo Japan, into a synergistic powerhouse in the digital space. This interconnection has fortified their market positions, specifically within the Asian region.

Company History

The narrative of Line Corporation is one of innovation and strategic alliances that have shaped its trajectory in the internet and communication technology space. Here’s how this dynamic company evolved over time.

Founding and Growth

Line Corporation was founded in 2000, originally as Hangame Japan, a branch of South Korean NHN Corporation. This entity played a pivotal role in the development of online game communities in Japan. They expanded their services beyond gaming with the creation of LINE, a communication application that rapidly grew in popularity.

Merger and Expansion

In 2015, Line Corporation became a consolidated subsidiary of Z Holdings, which was known as Yahoo Japan Corporation at the time. This move was part of a merger that included the backing of well-recognized entities like SoftBank Group and Naver Corporation. The company continued to grow, launching services like Line Pay for mobile payments and Line Manga, an e-comic distribution service. Their growth and expansion efforts allowed them to remain competitive in the global internet services market.

Financial Insights

Before diving into the specifics, it’s important to note that a company’s financial insights offer a glimpse into its overall health and market position. They are reflected through crucial metrics like revenue, profitability, and its relationship with stock exchanges around the globe.

Revenue and Profitability

Company revenue speaks volumes about its market reach and operational scale. For instance, examining a company’s income statements reveals how much revenue it has generated over a specific period, the costs it has incurred, and the subsequent profits or losses. Profits from operations, often reflected in the earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT), provide an insight into their core earning power. Simply put, revenue is the lifeblood of a company, and profitability often signifies a company’s efficiency in converting revenue to profits.

Key Metrics to Watch:

  • Gross Revenue: Total income from sales, services, or other business activities.
  • Net Profit Margin: The percentage of revenue that translates into profit after all expenses are deducted.

Stock Market Presence

A company’s presence on stock exchanges, such as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) or the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE), not only reflects its credibility but also its accessibility to investors worldwide. For companies listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), their relationship with the market can be quantified through market capitalization, share price movements, and trading volumes. Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) are significant events that reflect a company’s growth trajectory and investor confidence. They serve as a crucial source of capital for expansion and give a glimpse of the market’s valuation of the company.

Key Exchanges:

  • NYSE: One of the largest stock exchanges globally, representing a significant platform for companies to raise capital.
  • TSE: Asia’s premier exchange and a gateway for companies to tap into the vast pool of Asian investors.
  • LSE: An international exchange with a diverse blend of companies, attracting investors from various sectors.

Market Presence and Influence

In the competitive landscape of global tourism, the company that owns Line has strategically leveraged its assets, such as an expansive fleet of cruise ships, to maintain a strong market presence and capitalize on strategic ventures and partnerships. With operations spanning several continents, including the Caribbean, Australia, and Norway, their influence is both wide-reaching and impactful.


Worldwide Operations

Fleet Expansion: They proudly operate a diverse and modern fleet of cruise ships, voyaging to destinations around the world. The fleet continually serves the high demands of tourism and positions the company as a leading player in the cruise line industry.

Global Reach: With a presence in key markets like the United States and Australia, the company’s cruise lines are synonymous with exceptional travel experiences. They offer journeys across the Caribbean’s crystal waters and explore the scenic coasts of Norway, making them a preferred choice for travelers worldwide.

Strategic Ventures and Partnerships

Joint Ventures: The company has entered into several joint ventures to bolster its market position. This includes partnerships in regions where cruise tourism is booming, which supports sustainable growth and operational efficiency.

Viking Ownership: A notable partnership with Viking Cruises has allowed them to tap into the expertise of an established name in ocean and river cruising. This strategic alliance has expanded their offerings and reinforced their market position.

Through their comprehensive worldwide operations and strategic ventures and partnerships, the company that owns Line demonstrates its commitment to leadership and excellence in the cruising and tourism industry.

Key Executives and Leadership


The leadership dynamics within LINE Corporation are anchored by a hierarchy of executives including prominent figures like their CEO. The roles and contributions of these leaders shape the organization’s direction and innovation in the digital communication landscape.

Leadership Profiles

LINE Corporation’s cadre of executives holds a diverse range of responsibilities designed to steer the company towards success. The Leadership Profiles of these individuals provide a window into the strategic operations at LINE, showcasing their professional backgrounds, decision-making roles, and contributions to the company’s vision. Each profile reflects a piece of the greater puzzle that forms the company’s robust management structure.

  • CEO: Takeshi Idezawa helms LINE Corporation as the CEO. His vision and leadership are critical in positioning the company as a leader in smart portal and fintech businesses. Idezawa’s role involves guiding the company’s global strategies and operations, all while fostering a culture of innovation.

Influential CEOs

A CEO’s impact on a company is profound, often blending leadership acumen with strategic foresight. They head the executive team, shaping the company’s culture, setting long-term objectives, and engaging with various stakeholders.

  • Torstein Hagen: As a noteworthy CEO within the cruise industry, Hagen’s leadership style is revered for its focus on detail and customer-centric policies. While Torstein Hagen does not have a direct role within LINE Corporation, he serves as an exemplary model of how influential CEOs can leave a lasting imprint within their respective industries.

Brand Portfolio


The company’s brand portfolio encompasses a range of entities within the cruise and digital services sectors, targeting various market segments to offer a diverse and comprehensive experience.

Cruise Brands and Subsidiaries

The cruise sector of the company’s brand portfolio is robust, featuring some of the most well-known names in the industry. Carnival Corporation is a giant in the cruise world, operating several brands, including Carnival Cruise Line, known for its “Fun Ships” and broad appeal. Costa Cruises, another subsidiary under Carnival Corporation, brings an Italian flair to the sea, catering to a European clientele.

Brand Subsidiary Of Market Notability
Carnival Carnival Corporation A leading cruise line with a FUN experience
Costa Carnival Corporation Italian-style cruises with a European audience

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. differentiates itself with freestyle cruising, providing a flexible experience on board. They also own Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, expanding their luxury offerings.

Royal Caribbean Group boasts Royal Caribbean International, known for its innovative ships and Celebrity Cruises, which offers modern luxury. Further diversity in its portfolio is found in its ultra-luxury line, Silversea Cruises, and joint ventures like TUI Cruises and Pullmantur Cruises, each tailored to specific regional tastes and travel styles.

Digital Services and Products

Among the digital services and products, the company focuses on enhancing the cruise experience through innovative technologies and personalized customer service platforms. They are continually expanding their digital offerings, seeking to provide seamless integration of services to enrich the overall customer experience.

Operational Bases


In today’s interconnected world, a company’s operational bases are pivotal hubs for its activities. These include headquarters, as well as a tapestry of global offices and facilities that support its international operations.

Headquarters Location

Miami, Florida serves as an exemplary headquarters location for many prominent organizations. It’s a strategic choice due to Miami’s status as a gateway to Latin America and its strong business environment. For example, Oceania Cruises, well-known for its luxury cruise offerings, is headquartered in this cosmopolitan city, allowing them to easily reach this vibrant cruise market.

Global Offices and Facilities

  • Europe and Spain host important offices and facilities due to their access to diverse markets and strong transport links. These bases provide support to extensive European operations.

  • In the Bahamas, proximity to major cruise destinations makes it a strategic location for hospitality and tourism-related corporations.

  • PortMiami stands as the world’s busiest cruise port and is often considered the cruising capital of the world, making it an ideal locale for facilities related to the cruise industry.

  • For businesses like Oceania Cruises, having facilities in key locations like Los Angeles is essential for reaching and servicing the West Coast market and managing operations across the Pacific in regions like Oceania.

Corporate Responsibility


Corporate responsibility is a critical aspect that highlights a company’s commitment to ethical practices and sustainability efforts, with a focus on employee wellbeing and environmental initiatives.

Employee Wellbeing

Employee wellbeing is a priority within corporate responsibility, ensuring that the individuals who contribute to the company’s success are provided a safe and nurturing environment. Companies often implement health programs, facilitate work-life balance, and create a culture that values each employee’s contribution.

Environmental Initiatives

Through environmental initiatives, companies demonstrate their commitment to sustainable operations. Efforts typically include waste reduction, energy-efficient technologies, and adopting renewable energy sources. These initiatives not only contribute to the planet’s health but also align with customers’ values and expectations for environmental stewardship.

Legal and Ethical Governance


In the realm of business, Legal and Ethical Governance stands as a critical foundation upon which companies build trust and ensure adherence to laws and ethical norms. This is increasingly relevant for entities across various jurisdictions, such as public limited companies (plc) in the UK, businesses operating within the robust German market, or those incorporated in locales with different compliance landscapes like Bermuda, Mississippi, India, and Liberia.

Corporate Governance

Corporate Governance refers to the system of rules, practices, and processes by which a company is directed and controlled. It encompasses the mechanisms through which companies, and their respective management teams, align interests with stakeholders and ensure accountability. For a plc, board composition and duties might be heavily influenced by stringent UK laws and investor expectations. In contrast, a corporation in Bermuda might focus on different sets of governance standards appropriate to its regulatory environment.

Regulatory Compliance

Regulatory Compliance involves adhering to laws, regulations, guidelines, and specifications relevant to an organization’s business processes. A Mississippi-based corporation must comply with both federal and state regulations, which could include specific mandates regarding financial reporting or environmental protections. Similarly, a company operating in India must navigate a comprehensive blend of national and local regulations, ranging from labor laws to taxation. In Liberia, firms need to comply with legal standards while also being mindful of ethical considerations to maintain a good standing.

Future Outlook

In the ever-evolving cruise industry, companies like Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd are striving towards a sustainable and innovative future. They aim to enhance the passenger experience through advancements in technology and comprehensive strategic goals.

Innovation and Technology

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd is spearheading the integration of innovative technologies to provide unparalleled experiences for its passengers. From revolutionary ship designs featuring advanced stabilization to AI-driven smart features for personalized service, they are setting a new standard in luxury cruising. Production shows on their ships, such as those seen aboard the AIDA Cruises, employ cutting-edge stage technology that fascinates and captivates audiences of all ages.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd also plays a significant role in shaping the future with their investments in cleaner and more efficient energy systems. They have a commitment towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions, aligning with global sustainability goals. Their efforts contribute to a more environmentally conscious approach to exploring the world.

Strategic Plans and Goals

Strategic planning is a cornerstone for leading cruise lines aiming to enhance their market presence. Royal Caribbean plans to expand its luxury cruise line segment while also exploring emerging markets such as Russia. This includes potential partnerships and tailor-made offerings that resonate with the cultural dynamics of new demographics.

In contrast, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd focuses on long-term growth through their ‘Great Cruise Comeback’ initiative, outlining clear steps to rebound and excel post-pandemic. They have a detailed recovery roadmap to guide their journey back to full operational capacity and beyond, ensuring that they remain as front-runners in the industry.

Both companies hold the guest experience as paramount, consistently refining their onboard offerings to deliver exceptional value. With strategic foresight, they are equipped to navigate the complex landscape of global tourism and continue their legacy as leaders in sea voyages.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, you’ll find concise answers to some of the most common queries regarding the ownership and use of the LINE app.

Who holds the ownership of the LINE app?

The LINE app is owned by the South Korean internet search engine company, Naver Corporation.

What purposes do users commonly use the LINE app for?

Users typically utilize the LINE app for free instant messaging, voice and video calls, and social networking services.

Can we consider the LINE app to be a secure platform for communication?

LINE app places a high priority on security, offering features like end-to-end encryption for messages to protect users’ privacy.

What was the outcome of the association between Line and Yahoo?

The outcome of the Line and Yahoo Japan merger was the formation of a new internet giant called Z Holdings, to enhance their ability to compete in AI and e-commerce.

Is the origin of LINE rooted in Korea or Japan?

The origin of LINE is rooted in Japan, where it was launched by engineers at the Japanese arm of Naver.

Has the user base of LINE app been sustaining its popularity over time?

The user base of LINE has shown sustainability, particularly in Asian markets like Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and Indonesia, retaining a strong presence over time.