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Slack CTO and co-founder Cal Henderson speaks to NAR in an interview in Tokyo on Nov. 15.

Business chat app Slack seeks to crack Asia from Japan

US startup co-founder sees opportunities in South Korea, India

KENTARO IWAMOTO, Nikkei staff writer | South Korea

TOKYO -- Slack Technologies, an operator of business chat software, will start offering a Japanese version of its service on Friday, making it the U.S. startup's first attempt in Asia at localization. Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Cal Henderson told the Nikkei Asian Review that his company also sees opportunities in the rest of Asia, particularly South Korea and India.

Japanese will be the fifth language after English, French, German and Spanish the San Francisco-based company is offering. According to Henderson, Japan is promising, because it is an early adopter of technology and people here are willing to try new technologies. He noted that Slack already has 500,000 weekly active users in Japan including those who don't pay to access the service, and he expects the launch of a local-language version to boost numbers.

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