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Naver, Softbank launch Japanese joint venture

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Seoul, March 1 (IANS) South Korea’s leading internet portal Naver and Japanese telecom giant Softbank on Monday completed a merger of their subsidiaries to tap deeper into the Japanese market with a wide range of services.

Japanese chat app operator LINE, affiliated with Naver, and Softbank’s internet business Yahoo Japan launched a new entity called Z Holdings.

The merger creates a $30 billion tech giant with more than 100 million users on a monthly basis across messaging, online advertising and financial services.

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Z Holdings said it will invest $4.7 billion in technologies, including artificial intelligence, e-commerce, fintech and advertising, over the next five years, reports Yonhap news agency.

LINE and Yahoo Japan announced their merger plan in November 2019 to combine Japan’s most popular messaging app and its largest internet search portal to take on U.S. and Chinese internet giants.

Z Holdings will be controlled by a holdings company, called A Holdings, a 50-50 joint venture between Naver and Softbank.

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–IANS

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