Yahoo and Line set to merge in Japan
The largest search engine and messaging app in Japan is expected to merge under an agreement with their parent companies.
Yahoo Japan is the biggest search engine in Japan… yes… that Yahoo.
Yahoo Japan has branches in e-commerce and online banking.
Line is the dominant messaging app in the region, and is popular in Southeast Asia and Taiwan as well.
Analysts say the deal is going to help companies contend with other internet empires in Japan.
Yahoo Japan delivered a diverse range of services for a long time, but lagged behind many of its rivals, Shizuoka University’s Seijiro Takeshita said.
“This will be a very big headache and threat to the players like NTT Docomo and Rakuten”
– Seijiro Takeshita, Shizuoka University.
Although Google is the US and Europe’s primary search engine, Yahoo is the most popular search engine in Japan.
Each month, more than 50 million users visit the website of Yahoo Japan.
Yahoo Japan is no longer associated with its American parent, which in 2018 sold its remaining stake in the company.
Line, owned by Naver in South Korea, has about 80 million subscribers in Japan and a similar number in Southeast Asia and Taiwan.
The app itself is best known for cartoon stickers, a feature that has also been embraced by its rivals.