Japan’s messaging application Line, owned by SoftBank Corp.’s Z Holdings, has allowed Chinese engineers from a Shanghai branch to access data on Japanese users without their consent, Japanese media reported on Wednesday.
“There was nothing that violated legal or regulatory boundaries,” a Line spokesman said. “We always set a standard if we want to be as transparent as possible.”
The reports come after that Line became part of Z Holdings earlier this month Yahoo Japan, creating $ 30 billion (approximately 2,177,000 kroner) of heavy-duty domestic Internet to compete with local and American rivals.
Four engineers from a company in China that develops a Line system have been granted access to servers containing users’ names, phone numbers and emails. Asahi newspaper said.
The messages themselves can be read by the sender and the recipient, as Line, like other messaging applications, encrypts the content of the message from end to end.
Z Holdings is controlled by SoftBank through the holding company A Holdings, which is jointly owned by SoftBank and South Korean Naver, the former operator of Line.
Z Holdings announced the connection with Line last year, but was postponed from October due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Shares of Z Holdings fell 2 percent in morning trading to 605.5 CNY (approximately Rs 6,760), compared to the Tokyo Stock Exchange TOPIX index, which was fixed.
© Thomson Reuters 2021
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