Japanese media reported on Wednesday that the Japanese messaging app Line, owned by Softbank’s Z Holdings, allows Chinese engineers from a Shanghai subsidiary to access Japanese user data without the user’s consent.

A Line spokesperson said: “Nothing violates the boundaries of laws or regulations.” “If we want to be as transparent as possible, we always put ourselves below the standard.”

The report came after Line became a part of Z Holdings (the predecessor of Z Holdings is Yahoo Japan) this month and created a US$30 billion (approximately Rs 2,157,700 crore) domestic Internet giant to compete with local and American competitors.

The Asahi Shimbun said that four engineers from a Chinese company developed the system for Line, and they were allowed to access a server containing user names, phone numbers and e-mails.

The message itself can only be read by the sender and receiver, because Line, like other messaging applications, encrypts the message content end-to-end.

Z Holdings is controlled by SoftBank through its holding company A Holdings, which is jointly owned by SoftBank and the former operator of Line, South Korea Naver.

Z Holdings announced the cooperation of Line last year, but it was postponed from October due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Z Holdings’ share price fell 2% in early trading to RMB 605.5 (approximately Rs 6,760), while the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s TOPIX index was flat.

Thomson Reuters 2021 ©

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