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Messaging service Line faces skeptics over strategy

Pricey bets on AI and financial services have analysts questioning benefits

A banner on the New York Stock Exchange marks the comany's IPO in July 2016: The Japanese messaging service announced its second straight quarterly loss on April 25.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Market watchers in Japan are raising questions about app developer Line's investment-heavy strategy, wondering whether and when the company's bet on mobile payments and financial services will pay off.

Line reported a net loss for January to March on April 25, its second straight quarterly loss. It attributed the red ink to rising personnel costs associated with the development of artificial intelligence and the expansion of its financial services business.

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