LINE 10th Anniversary

Enrich Users' Daily Lives

LINE celebrates its 10th anniversary on June 23, 2021. In this series of interviews, we sat down with twelve Global LINERs and asked them to look back on the last ten years since LINE was established. They also shared their visions for the next ten years, including how they wanted to change society.

In this article, we introduce three LINERs who address user needs and help enrich their lives.

Developing an AI brand that helps people and enriches their daily lives


  • Takamoto Hiroyuki
  • Hiroyuki is part of the AI Business Planning Team. Before joining LINE as a service planner in 2018, he worked at Cookpad. In addition to being a product manager for LINE AiCall--an AI-driven telephone support service--he also oversees AI Company's corporate planning, including development of medium-term business plans, staffing, and allocating of management resources. He often stays at his friend's hostel during long vacations and enjoys nothing more than kicking back and gazing at the sea, climbing mountains, or leisurely reading books.

ーーLINE was established ten years ago from around this time on June 23, 2011. What were you doing at that point in your life?


Ten years ago, I was still a high school student. I think I was probably enjoying my last school festival then. I'd also been with the same classmates and teacher for three whole years, so we all got along well. It was really a lot of fun. Back then, so-called social media had also fully made its mark on the world. So, like now, we already had that feeling of always being connected with someone online.


Hiroyuki 10 yeas ago, with his classmate at a theme park.

I'd always loved internet services, so it seems natural that I'd be working where I am now. "I want to devise products in areas where the user experience is still underdeveloped," "I want to create service competitiveness as we compete with the world's best service providers in the Japanese market"--these were the kinds of goals I had when I took the jump and joined LINE.

Being able to think about where we should be assigning resources and what we could be doing to become number one--all while keeping a close eye on underlying technologies and the AI market--it's really exciting and I'm thankful to be in this position.

ーーWhat do you think are LINE's strengths and what issues do you think it still needs to tackle?


I think that no matter the physical distance, LINE is able to foster communication that's so natural it's like the person you're talking to is right in front of you. This value that LINE provides is its strength. Without a doubt, it's a service that has really closed the distance between people.

Although, that's not to say that we've been able to create this same environment for all types of communication in the world. For example, when someone needs to verify their identity for paperwork, ask a store something outside business hours or during the busy season, or use their voice to get things done while driving: all of these interactions could be considered "communication" in a broad sense, so there's still many things that require people to use up their time.

As a company that has made "Closing the Distance" its mission, I think we still have some way to go before we've reached a position we can be satisfied with. Here at AI Company, we're currently striving to create exciting communication experiences between people and services--for example, when it comes to time-consuming and tedious paperwork--and become the next "norm" in areas that can't exist without AI.

LINE possesses AI technologies that could be said to be among the best in the world: voice synthesis tech that can hold natural-sounding conversations and make users feel as if they're talking with another human, world-class image recognition tech that can analyze documents and other text, and more. LINE's AI tech is already helping a number of restaurants in responding to phone calls as well as companies in processing their paperwork.I want to apply this technology to even more services and throughout society to create communication that'll be right there alongside everyone.


ーーWhat do you want to achieve next at LINE?


My biggest motivation comes from the empathy I feel towards those who have goals or dreams to accomplish something. I want to be able to turn my attention to society, industries, businesses, and products while at the same time, supporting those endeavoring to achieve something. That's why I think that LINE CLOVA's goal to be "AI for everyone" is something to be very proud of. It really aligns with my own beliefs and vision

I think that one day, LINE CLOVA will be leading the rest of the world as the number one AI tech brand. I'm confident that we'll be able to enrich people's daily lives and resolve the problems they encounter around them. I want to do my best alongside the people in front of me who are doing everything in their power to achieve these goals, and then be able to proudly say I helped create LINE Clova.

At a glance, corporate planning is often thought of as being about numbers and events, but what we actually focus on is inventing products and driving businesses forward. AI Company is also full of professionals from different backgrounds. I myself am quite proud that I've been able to resolve issues for them and help them find a path forward to even bigger achievements.

My motivation won't change in ten or even twenty years from now. Like LINE CLOVA, I want to use all of my abilities and energy to do what I can for the people right in front of me.

Revitalizing Taiwan's industries by supporting promising startups


  • Tang Shin(Cecilia)
  • Cecilia is the Lead of LINE Taiwan Corporate Strategy team. Before joining LINE, she worked as the Head of Strategic Planning for a global insurance company AIG where she was based in China and led various strategic initiatives and CSR projects. She then joined LINE Taiwan in 2015 as the Head of Corporate Strategy and has been involved in corporate strategy planning and new business development. She also manages partnerships, investment and post-merger integration and LINE PROTOSTAR(*), a startup sponsor program.

ーーWhat were you doing 10 yeas ago?


Ten years ago, I was working as the Head of Strategic Planning at AIG China in Shanghai. I worked on strategy planning, established joint ventures with partners, and created new insurance services. At that time, I had the opportunity to have a job interview with NHN Corporation--the predecessor of NAVER Corporation--through a friend's referral. Mr. Hyunbin Kang, who currently leads overseas business development, was the recruiting manager. I was offered a job after the interview, but I turned it down in the end as I had just started my job in China and wanted to further explore the Chinese market.

But my connection with LINE didn't end there. At the start of 2015, Hyunbin asked me if I would like to join LINE to work on LINE's business development for China. Later on, he proposed to me whether I would like to work for LINE Taiwan. As I had worked in China for six years, away from my parents and family, I decided to join LINE Taiwan so that I could also spend time with them. Thinking back, joining the company at that time was definitely good timing for me. Business connections can be interesting that way.


with Hyunbin and her team members (taken in 2020).

Also, the way I communicate with my family has changed since 2013, when LINE launched in Taiwan. Previously, emails and phone calls were the only way I could communicate with them. However, after we started using LINE, the group chat became a critical channel for us to share our status. Our connection also became stronger. Even my 93 year-old grandma has learned to use LINE and is active in our family group. In this way, LINE has become an essential service for my family.

ーーWhat do you think are LINE's strengths and what issues do you think it still needs to tackle?


LINE provides flexibility to product or engineering department where people can initiate new projects and businesses. Such an environment that allows LINERs to take on new challenges is LINE's strength.

On the other hand, we cannot implement every idea because resources are limited. This brings frustration to business units. Also, as the company grows, organizations are split into smaller units, which became silo and makes it harder to synergize. So, if internal organizations work more closely together, I believe we can provide WOW services to users more efficiently.

ーーWhat do you want to achieve next at LINE?


We will continue to make LINE as one of the best global companies that supports and commits to providing the great "Life on LINE" experience of users in the Taiwan market. We would love to keep committing to corporate startup engagement through LINE PROTOSTAR Program. We will continue to bring various resources to startups, including LINE platform's global connection to facilitate the growth of their business. We are aiming to make Taiwan as one of the friendliest markets to entrepreneurs to start their businesses and boost up the local startup ecosystem. This will also help enrich Taiwanese users' lives. Since LINE launched ten years ago, it has been well received by the Taiwanese people and has expanded rapidly in the market.In the next ten years, I hope LINE becomes a necessity for users to live or do business in Taiwan.

Personally, as someone who leads many team members, I would like to fulfill my leadership role so that my team members can enjoy working at LINE, create value, and make meaningful deliverables in the Taiwan market.


LINE PROTOSTAR is a startup sponsoring program that had been established in the end of 2015. We aim to help startups scale their businesses by leveraging LINE's cutting-edge platform and technologies. To fuel startups'growth and business expansion, not only do we provide LINE platform resources but also engage with external partners to provide various business essential courses to startups. Moreover, startups who join LINE PROTOSTAR Program will have priority to be considered as a business partner or new initiatives pilot. In the past 5 years, LINE PROTOSTAR has engaged with more than 300 startups, and supported 40 of the teams from various fields to launch the services on LINE. Those services enrich our platform offering and enhance user experience.

Transforming the financial activities of Thai users through social banking


  • Tanin Asirapornpong(Nin)
  • Tanin is a member of KASIKORN LINE's architect team. He proposes technology-driven solutions for business strategies and challenges. After graduating university, he worked in the software, banking, and telecom industries before running his own consulting firm. He then joined KASIKORN LINE, the operator of LINE BK(*). He enjoys being active and doing activities like trekking and going to the gym.

ーーWhat were you doing 10 yeas ago?


At that time, I had graduated university and worked at a software business, a bank, and a telecom company supporting lifestyle infrastructure for people. After that, I managed my own consulting firm but I wasn't really able to feel passionate about my work. I realized that my motivation was to create something that would benefit society and strongly felt that I wanted to do work that supported people's lifestyles. It was with those thoughts in mind that I joined KASIKORN LINE--which was aiming to launch Thailand's first ever online bank--in 2018 as an IT architect.


Nin 10 years ago, as a software engineer.

ーーWhat do you think has changed compared to 10 years ago before LINE?

When I was working as a software engineer ten years ago, the internet wasn't as widespread as it is now. Network speeds were also slow. At work, our daily communication was through emails and teleconference calls. If we needed swift responses, we used the company chat. But we had very few communication methods for quickly reaching one another in urgent situations, so I remember feeling frustrated. Now we have LINE. Not only can we message our friends here and abroad, but we're also using it to communicate at work. We can chat, call, video call, or even arrange a video conference. I can video call my mom or friends whenever I miss them and read the news without opening a web browser. I can make payments and also order food. LINE is so convenient that I've already forgotten how to set up meetings from a conference room and how to write formal emails (laughs). I feel like LINE's emergence has diversified communication, made our lives easier, and helped us work faster.

ーーWhat do you think are LINE's strengths and what issues do you think it still needs to tackle?


LINE BK's strength is its capacity to change the world by fully understanding user needs and providing the necessary services. In truth, LINE BK's inception has led to a big change in the financial activities of Thai users. Unsecured loans--our main product--has proven to be a very popular service. Over 2.2 million domestic users have signed up for it since it released in October 2020. Users can apply and get approved for loans without ever leaving the LINE app, and the funds will immediately be transferred to their bank account. LINE BK provides loans at fair interest rates, and we even offer zero interest for the first two months. This has led to users really trusting the service.

During the COVID-19 lockdown, many companies were faced with temporary closures or bankruptcy, and many people lost their jobs. Even in this situation, I think LINE BK was able to support a lot of people's day-to-day--for example, those who needed money to take care of their children or parents, who wanted to start a business but had low social credibility, or those who didn't have bank accounts.

When it comes to challenges, I think that LINE BK needs to expand its business further since it's still a new service. I want to keep seeking out user needs so that our services can make their day-to-day easier, and LINE BK can become a more integrated part of their lives.


ーーWhat do you want to achieve next at LINE?


My motivation is to create services that help people conquer the challenges in their life. We're not just here to do business, however. We're helping people to overcome their life problems and roadblocks. Wanting to help out others more, wanting to provide services to make people happier--I want to always remember these feelings day after day in my work over the next ten years.


*What is LINE BK?

LINE BK Thailand's first social banking platform, created through a collaboration between LINE and Thailand's major bank, KASIKORNBANK. Users can do everything on the LINE app: bank transfers, opening a bank account, applying for a loan, making payments, or applying for a debit card. Since launching in October 2020, over 2.6 million users have signed up for the service as of the end of May 2021. The amount of transactions has also exceeded 29 billion baht (equivalent to around 100 billion yen). Additionally, LINE BK has issued over 6.1 billion baht (approximately 21 billion yen) in personal loans under its Credit Line service for individual customers.


The LINE 10th Anniversary Project Team

To celebrate LINE’s tenth anniversary on June 23, 2021, we have written articles about LINERs from around the world. LINE will continue to boldly take up challenges no one else can do.