WeChat, owned by Internet giant Tencent, and Line, owned by Korea’s biggest Web firm NHN, are two global Goliaths in waiting.
Last year they pushed out of their domestic markets into Southeast Asia and saw big gains: Line grew from 100 million registered users to 300 million in 2013, WeChat counts 272 million active monthly users, most of whom are based in China.
Line, in particular, is a real threat, having surpassed WhatsApp in Taiwan (where Line has 20 million sign-ups) and Thailand (where Line claims 30 million registrations) in the past year. It is targeting 500 million registered users by the end of 2014, and is pushing hard in Indonesia and India and will almost certainly challenge WhatsApp in other countries in Asia.
A Line IPO would be huge.