Chat app Line runs into hassle in Thailand and Japan, two of its key markets

Chat app Line runs into trouble in Thailand and Japan, two of its key markets

Japan-based mostly messaging app kicked off its transfer into chat bots at present, beating Fb to the punch within the course of, however it has been a difficult week for the corporate, which rumored to be pursuing an IPO, in two of its most necessary markets.

Firstly, in its house nation, Line is beneath investigation from authorities for the best way that it handles digital currencies with its video games. Reuters reported that Japanese regulators “raided” the workplaces of Naver, Line’s mother or father firm, to look into whether or not it flouted guidelines for dealing with buyer cash

Recreation tokens are massively well-liked in Japan, which is the world’s most profitable cellular gaming market, and laws require corporations to park half of its clients’ unused deposits with the Authorized Affairs Bureau in the event that they exceed $ninety,000 in complete. Investigators are wanting into Line recreation ‘Key to the Treasure Field,’ with Line telling Reuters it didn’t deposit the unspent credit as a result of they don’t seem to be foreign money — they’re Line factors.

Over in Thailand, in the meantime, Line is beneath investigation for permitting stickers that mock the nation’s royal household to be out there. Thailand’s lese majeste regulation forbids insults of the monarchy, and is punishable with as much as 15 years in jail. Thailand’s junta authorities, which assumed management of the nation by way of a army coup in 2014, has used the regulation in current occasions to prosecute a person who defamed the king’s canine and individuals who have made feedback on Fb, amongst different instances.

The stickers have been made obtainable to Thai customers by way of its group, which permits anybody to create and promote stickers to Line’s 215 million lively customers. Line sometimes vets the content material earlier than it goes on sale, so it’s unclear why that didn’t occur on this case given the authorized ramifications of this specific sticker set.

The deputy chief of Thailand’s Know-how Crime Suppression Division advised Reuters the police is “investigating the place the stickers got here from and who did this.” Line issued an apology within the following assertion acquired by TechCrunch.

Line Company is conscious of the culturally delicate sticker set which will have brought about discomfort amongst our customers in Thailand. The sticker set in query has been pulled from the Line Sticker Store.

As we take our customers considerations significantly and contemplate cultural elements of every nation, we’ll proceed to enhance our LINE Creators Market.

We remorse any inconvenience this will likely have brought on and recognize your understanding.

Thailand is a vital marketplace for Line. The messaging app is assumed to have greater than 30 million customers within the nation, making it an analogous measurement to Fb. Thailand, along with Japan, Taiwan and Indonesia, represents one-third of the corporate’s lively userbase.

Line has used to Thailand is check quite a lot of new providers in current occasions, however it has additionally run into controversy within the nation. Thai police beforehand requested entry to consumer knowledge, whereas politicians have beforehand claimed was granted. Line repeatedly denied offering such info. Final yr it launched an finish-to-finish encryption system for messages which, it claimed, made elements of its consumer knowledge inaccessible to even Line itself. (Line’s encryption isn’t as strong as WhatsApp’s lately introduced safety measures which absolutely encrypt all consumer knowledge.)

Featured Picture: Bryce Durbin