Business Spotlight: Line Part 2

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. strive / straɪv / (v.) – to try very hard to do or achieve something

    Riley is striving to become a successful athlete by training every day.

  2. comprehensive / ˌkɒm prɪˈhɛn sɪv / (adj.) – complete and including all necessary details

    Ken wrote a comprehensive report about the incident. It was 50 pages long.

  3. be no stranger to (something) / bi noʊ ˈstreɪn dʒər tu / (idiom) – to have a lot of experience in or knowledge about something

    I’ve been hosting events for several years, so I’m no stranger to public speaking.

  4. reign supreme / reɪn səˈprim / (idiom) – to be the best, most popular, or most important in a certain time or place

    Bell-bottom jeans reigned supreme in the ’70s.

  5. all walks of life / ɔl wɔks əv laɪf / (idiom) – different backgrounds or groups, such as age, social class, etc.

    As a nurse in a public hospital, I interact with people from all walks of life.


Read the text below.

Continued from Part 1…

Line has also striven to become a fully comprehensive social network. As early as 2012, it introduced its Home and Timeline features, similar to features in Facebook. Other profitable services include Line Manga and Line Play, a platform for mobile games like 2014’s monumentally successful Disney Tsum Tsum. And Line Pay remains one of the most commonly used money payment applications in Japan.

Line hasn’t been without its failures, however, and many of its extra features have been discontinued, including Line Taxi, which was established as a competitor to Uber, and Line Mall, an e-commerce service similar to Mercari. Also, during its 10-year history, Line has been no stranger to scandal, and has already been subject to several data breaches and hacks.

Outside Japan, Line has become the No. 1 messaging app in Taiwan and Thailand, but isn’t well-known in other countries, including many where competitor WhatsApp reigns supreme. What’s more, China and Russia have both prohibited Line, and there is no sign they will reverse their decisions.

But in its place of birth, Line is here to stay. It has quietly become part of the glue that holds Japanese society together and is used by people from all walks of life. It’s more than just an app. Line provides us with the most essential of human needs: communication — with just a dash of cute too. (Jasmin Hayward)

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Line has introduced profitable services as well as some failures. Why do you think some services were hits (ex. Line Manga, Line Pay) while others failed (ex. Line Taxi, Line Mall)? Do you think Line should continue to expand into other services? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Line has been no stranger to scandal, experiencing several data breaches and hacks. Do you think Line users should be worried? Would you ever stop using an app because of data breaches or hacks? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • The article says that Line has quietly become part of the glue that holds Japanese society together. Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • China and Russia have both prohibited Line. What do you think is the reason for these bans? In your opinion, should governments be able to ban apps? Why or why not? Discuss.