Kentaro Kawabe President and Representative Director Co-CEO

A powerful Internet presence boosted by more "at bats" and a high "batting average"

Kentaro KawabePresident and Representative Director

The Power of Integration

The ability to reach virtually every Internet user in Japan

The greatest advantage gained from the business integration is the dramatic increase in customer contact points. Yahoo! JAPAN's 80 million users combined with LINE's 86 million users give us an overwhelming advantage from our contact points with virtually every Internet user in Japan. Contact points are the fundamental competitive strength for Internet platform providers because those are the connections through which we provide our services spanning search and news to advertising and commerce. A contact point is like an "at bat" in baseball, and our massive user base vastly increases the number of opportunities we have to bring our clients in contact with our users. The huge boost in at bats that the integration gives us will be a powerful advantage for all of our businesses in the future.

Along with the increase in at bats, the greatly expanded user base will also enable us to raise our "batting average." We will apply sophisticated AI learning and analysis 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to the massive amount of data cultivated from the user base. Presenting recommended results and content specifically catered to each user will increase the number of "hits" with our users and raise our batting average. Not only will AI raise our batting average higher than any human can produce, it will also continue improving our performance as our data base grows.

AI will enable us to maximize our efficiency, but we know very well that the full potential of AI can only be reached if we have top-notch human talent behind it. Yahoo! JAPAN and LINE have each been determined to be the best in the market, which has led us to be in a constant battle against each other to attract the best talent from a limited pool of data scientists and engineers. The addition of LINE's overseas operations will boost the ability of Z Holdings to recruit the world-class talent we will seek to grow our operations. Bringing in brilliant data scientists and the brightest engineers will further improve our AI technologies and raise our batting average. A high batting average coupled with an unrivaled number of at bats with users in Japan will certainly lead to more home runs for all of our businesses.

The Future of Z Holdings

A corporate group helping address a wide range of social issues

The business integration elevates Z Holdings to a corporate group with top-class service capabilities in Japan in areas of search and web portals, advertising, messaging, commerce, and fintech. After the integration, we will seek to combine our data and AI technologies to generate synergies and create new value in all of our businesses. We will develop and expand the core search and web portal, advertising, and messaging businesses, which are our original businesses and the foundations of our business growth. At the same time, we will put special emphasis on the four fields of commerce, local and vertical services (specialized media such as for accommodation and restaurant reservations), fintech, and social services where we believe there is still room where the Internet can be used to provide better solutions.

One area we will be looking to develop is public services, where we believe digital transformation (DX) can bring positive advances. The Internet has been widely used in Japan for over 20 years, and private sector enterprises have been actively and creatively applying digital technology to create a variety of new services. The public services sector, however, remains for the most part not digitalized. Moreover, the coronavirus pandemic has made it abundantly clear that digital transformation on the administrative level is not only important, but vital.

The Z Holdings Group plans to actively collaborate with the national and local governments to bring DX to public services. We will help provide comprehensive and easy-to-understand information about administrative procedures and work with the Cabinet Office to launch online administrative procedures for the government's Mynaportal*. We will also aggressively advance DX of healthcare to give people easy online access to on-demand medical care anytime, anywhere. We also plan to step up the application of digital technology for public welfare in the area of disaster management. Both Yahoo! JAPAN and LINE have been key components in disaster-related communications in Japan, which is vulnerable to natural disasters, and we will seek to further improve the nation's preparedness in normal conditions, disaster alerts, and disaster response as well as recovery and reconstruction.

LINE's overseas presence will give us opportunities to import businesses developed overseas into Japan, while also providing solid starting points for scaling domestic businesses for the global market. In doing so, we will also infuse technology and expertise from our two parent companies SoftBank Corp. and NAVER Corporation. Z Holdings is harnessing the full power of the Internet to "Achieve Even More" and provide greater convenience and satisfaction in all aspects of our lives for each of us individually and as a society.

*Japanese government website site for administrative procedures, including concerning childcare and nursing care support.

Takeshi Idezawa Representative Director Co-CEO

A whole new level of "WOW" for a wider base of users

Takeshi IdezawaRepresentative Director

The Power of Integration

Advantages for all areas of user lives

Since LINE launched 20 years ago, our primary value has been our ability to surprise and impress our users, or what we call the "WOW!" element. We believe that without WOW! a product or service is simply not worth developing, not for us and not for our users. The integration with Z Holdings gives us the ability to raise our WOW! to a whole new level.

We have been advancing a Smart Portal Strategy aimed at growing our business by using the LINE communication app to link our 86 million users to a wide menu of services. The Internet gateway for today's younger generation is not email or search engines, but communication and map apps that seamlessly connect to digital services. But this seamlessness is only possible with constant updates using AI and huge quantities of data. Our aim has been to position LINE at the center of providing a growing range of services for users in all areas of their lives, and the integration will vastly strengthen our abilities.

This integration with Z Holdings will open doors for us to increase services in merchandise e-commerce and the expanding field of online finance (fintech). Bringing together our engineers will significantly strengthen the AI and data analysis technologies so we can offer even greater advantages for users. We plan to make full use of the numerous complementary elements of the two companies' services and technologies. I believe the synergies will catapult us into a globally competitive corporation.

The Future of Z Holdings

A new service that transcends the boundaries between online and offline

The business integration will give us the opportunity to fully apply the Internet and advanced information technologies in numerous areas where there is room for improvement. One area we can do this is the barrier between online and offline services. This "pain point" for meeting user needs is holding back many areas from reaping the full advantages that online services can provide for user convenience.

In Japan, for example, cash payments are still the norm for offline commerce. The healthcare industry has been slow to adopt digital technology, and the government has been slower still. There is still much room to apply digital transformation in many areas of society. Even in areas like e-commerce and food delivery that currently have a hybrid of online and offline transactions, there are many inefficiencies. Our business integration will allow us to strengthen our existing businesses while also enabling us to accelerate our drive to offer improved efficiency in new areas.

Communication will be paramount to realizing the integration's full potential. All of us understand the importance of being open and frank with each other about any and everything. Holding meetings online, which has been the standard during the pandemic, has actually led to discussions that are not only more frequent than in the past, but also more detailed as each side strives to ensure all information is correctly communicated and understood. The meetings are deepening the understanding between the two companies' upper executives as well as among the business divisions and various layers of the company.

Our two companies have a common goal- to improve society and be of good use to the world. That is the reason for this integration. The many discussions we held to prepare for the integration helped us clarify our conviction that our business should not be rooted in the past, but will look to the future. We believe the integration will quickly begin producing results, and we will provide WOW! that the world has never seen before.