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Line Thailand expansion plans include business

Mobile platform Line Thailand has announced bold plans, targeting business uses.

Part of Korea’s Naver internet service company, Line sees Thailand as its second-largest strategic market following Japan.

Line Thailand MD Ariya Banomyong says the company aims to boost its presence not just as a mobile messenger but as a smart portal providing innovative and “useful” services.

Banomyong says many businesses are wondering how to access customers seeking specific answers, and that ultimately Line would be more than just a message service. Already the company has launched a mobile delivery agent service, Line Man, and established a joint venture with Bangkok’s mass transportation business BTS, Rabbit Line Pay, which supersedes the Line Pay mobile payment business started last June.

“I believe we definitely need to dominate the mobile food-delivery business because street foods are a very important part of Thai life,” says Banomyong. “Before Line Man, only a few restaurants offered a delivery service.”

Banomyong aims to start localised services that can be adopted in major Line markets like Korea and Japan. “The Thai subsidiary will boost co-operation with startups here to seek new business opportunities.”

Line services launched in Thailand in 2012, so far attracting 33 million subscribers – nearly half the country’s population. Line has added such services as official accounts, sponsored stickers and a content creators’ B2B market.

For the offline-to-online sector, the company has started Line Shop, Line Gift Shop and Line At, an official account service for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

“Only about 500,000 out of 2.8 million SMEs in Thailand are online,” says Banomyong. ”To offer them a broader online environment, we provide a simple yet effective platform with lower costs.”

In December, the company also started the television content-streaming service Line TV in collaboration with media groups such as GMM. Its Line Music service has recorded more than 7 million cumulative downloads.

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