The Taiwan branch of Japan's Line Corp, creator of the fast-growing social messaging app Line, will be expanded by five to 10 times in 2014, in a bid to create more localized "stickers" and mobile content for the market in Taiwan, according to Taiwan's state-run Central News Agency (CNA).
The popularity of the mobile app is driven by its popular oversized emoticons, or stickers. There are 7 billion daily messages and over 1 billion stickers sent by worldwide users, according to LINE. According to CNA, the Taiwan branch has recruited about 10 employees since its establishment in May, and it is for certain that more staff members for marketing, sales, information technology, and design are needed.
Statistics from LINE show that Taiwan is now the company's third-largest market around the world, and the number of registered users exceeds 17 million. The Taiwanese market performance is behind only Japan's 49 million and Thailand's 20 million.
On November 26, LINE teamed up with Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom Co, the country's biggest mobile provider, in the hopes of expanding the local market by providing users with more services. At a ceremony for the strategic collaboration held in Taipei, Kang Hyun-bin, head of Line Business Development Division, announced that the new services are expected to be released starting in the first half of next year.
Meanwhile, Chunghwa Telecom will offer one year of free data usage for its mPro data service subscribers with LINE accounts, including sending text messages, stickers, photos, videos, audio clips, and making voice calls over the app, according to the United Daily News.
On November 25, South Korea's Naver Corp, Line's parent company, announced that the number of registered users on LINE has surpassed 300 million. The milestone came four months after the service drew 200 million users in July.
All LINE users directly received the notification of the breakthrough. According to LINE, since its launch on June 23, 2011, the app in 14 languages has charmed mobile phone users around the world, including countries in east Asia, western Europe (France, Germany, Italy, etc), India, Turkey, and various Spanish-speaking parts of the world.
Akira Morikawa, chief executive officer at Line, said in a recent statement that he aims to have 500 million users by the end of 2014 and to develop Line into "the world's top communication service", according to CNA.