Blocked messaging app Line looks for comeback in China

China blocked Line back in July, resulting in user complaints

Jung-Ho Shin, CEO of Line Plus.

Jung-Ho Shin, CEO of Line Plus.

Months after its messaging app was blocked in China, the company behind Line is "optimistic" it can bring the service back to the country in the near future, in spite of the government's growing censorship of the Internet.

"We are very optimistic about reopening our service," said Shin Jungho, CEO of Line Plus on Wednesday. "I cannot open today. I just want to say in the near future, I think we can open our service again."

Shin made the comments on the sidelines of the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, China, where the nation's government has gathered tech executives from across the globe.

China has said it welcomes all Internet sites to the country, but only if they follow the rules. This includes obeying China's demands on censorship. Line did not immediately comment on whether it planned to abide by the government rules.

Shin said he didn't now why China blocked the Line messaging app back in July, or how the company would get the ban lifted. But company executives indicated that Line had many users in China who were waiting for the service to return.

"They really love to talk through Line and they love to use Line stickers, so we are very optimistic about our operations," said Kang Hyunbin, vice president for Line Plus.

South Korea-based Line Plus, which is a subsidiary of Line Corp., was established last year to accelerate the messaging app's global expansion. The product is quite popular in Japan, where it has 54 million users, and it has also gained a sizeable following in the U.S., with 25 million users.

Line came to mainland China under the name "Lianwo." In July the country's censors began disrupting the service, amid a massive pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong.

Although China never comments on why it blocks certain services, the government typically cuts access to products when they risk spreading anti-government news or photos. Other foreign sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google have all been blocked in the country.

Line declined to say how many users it has in the country. But since the blocking in July, thousands of Chinese users have complained on Line's local Sina Weibo account in the country.

Recently, China has been blocking more foreign Internet services from appearing in the country. In late May, it began blocking all Google services, and starting last week it began disrupting websites connected to U.S. content delivery network EdgeCast Networks.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags mobile applicationsregulationmobilegovernmentLine Corp

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?