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Opinion

Yahoo Japan-Line merger will not create domestic Alibaba or Amazon

Business which is centered on home country can never compete with tech giants

| Japan
What does Line offer that will give it a lasting advantage compared to global giants?   © Reuters

The announcement of a merger between Yahoo Japan and Korea-based Naver's Line chat app -- greeted enthusiastically by stock markets -- raises a high-stakes question: is a technology company largely based on users from a single country, in this case Japan, viable in the long run?

The answer is critical to the future not only of Yahoo Japan, but of its biggest shareholder, SoftBank Group, which has in recent years bet billions of dollars on dozens of primarily Asia-based local and regional e-commerce and ride-hailing platforms.

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