Yahoo Japan parent merges with Line

Z Holdings Corp., the parent of Yahoo Japan Corp., on Monday merged with messaging app provider Line Corp., creating a big Japanese digital company with more than 300 million users and 5tril yen (RM189.77bil) in market capitalisation, reported Jiji Press.

The merged company will invest 500bil yen (RM18.97bil) in artificial intelligence and other technologies over the coming five years, aiming to improve electronic commerce and financial services in an effort to better compete with foreign tech giants.

The new Z Holdings identified e-commerce, restaurant and travel reservations, fintech and society featuring health care as four key business areas, planning to increase the number of experts by 5,000.

It plans to merge Line Pay and PayPay smartphone payment services, which have 75 million users together, in April 2022. Starting late next month, Line Pay service will be available at PayPay member stores. The company will consider whether to integrate other overlapping businesses.

“We’ll make society convenient with information technology” amid growing concerns stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, Kentaro Kawabe, co-CEO of the new firm and former Z Holdings president, told a news conference.

Takeshi Idezawa, the other co-CEO and former Line president, said, “We’ll create the new value that could not be made alone.”

Yahoo Japan’s website has 80 million registered users annually. Line app users total 86 million per month.

The total sales of Z Holdings and Line in the first six months of 2020 exceeded the 678.7bil yen (RM25.75bil) posted by domestic rival Rakuten Inc. for the same period.

The merged company aims to earn consolidated sales of 2tril yen (RM75.89bil) and an operating profit of 225bil yen (RM8.53bil) in the year ending in March 2024. – Bernama