LINE Implements Initiatives in Response to the Spread of Novel Coronavirus (Updated 5/8)

2020.05.08 ALL

As part of our commitment to being a company that society can trust, LINE Corporation and its group companies have implemented a variety of initiatives in response to the spread of novel coronavirus (also known as SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19) to support our users in Japan and elsewhere around the world.

In addition, we are also doing all we can to support our more than 8,200 global employees located around the world.

Note: The original article was posted on March 13. It was then updated on:
• April 3 (4/3)
• April 15 (4/15)
• May 8 (5/8)


Initiatives to support users in Japan 

• LINE Healthcare: Remote consultation with medical professionals via the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare Official Account 24 hours a day. The service will be offered free of charge through the end of June. (5/8)

• LINE Talk CARE: Free one-on-one counseling for people who are suffering from anxiety and stress stemming from COVID-19. Specialists include mental health professionals and career and marriage counselors. (5/8)

• LINE Pokeo: All service fees for takeout meals have been waived through September for restaurants using a certain type of digital cash register (5/8)

• LINE Research: Surveys and analysis on COVID-19-related matters, including the first nationwide survey for measures to prevent infection in conjunction with the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. Three additional joint nationwide surveys have since been conducted in order to provide the public data on how COVID-19 is affecting various communities throughout Japan. (5/8)

• Smile Up ! Project Official Account: A joint project with entertainment group Johnny&Associates that provides stay-at-home video and manga content. The project has also donated 33,000 pieces of protective equipment and 500,000 surgical masks to frontline medical workers. (5/8)

• LINE Pocket Money: Interest-free personal loans to provide urgent support to people whose incomes have been impacted by measures put in place due to COVID-19. (4/15)

• LINE Mobile: In order to support students under the age of 25 who have shifted their studies online, up to 10GB of mobile data will be provided free of charge for the month of April. LINE is also providing payment grace periods to customers who are facing difficulty with their monthly payments upon request. (4/15)

• LINE is providing LINE Official Account and LINE for Business customers a message function free of charge to allow customers to be notified of changes in business hours. (4/15)

• LINE BRAIN will provide optical character recognition (OCR) technology to digitize results from a questionnaire given by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare to people returning to Japan from abroad. (4/15)

• LINE stickers that demonstrate the right way to protect yourself from getting COVID-19. (4/3)

• Cooperation with various local governments to provide support and develop measures against COVID-19, including a national COVID-19 countermeasures support tool, established with Kanagawa Prefecture. (4/3)

• A joint project to ensure that accurate information about COVID-19 is communicated to the public,  based on guidelines recommended by the United Nations. (4/3)

• LINE LIVE: A platform for companies and artists that have had to postpone or cancel their in-person events and hold them online.

• LINE NEWS and LINE Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare Official Account: Real time global information and news on topics related to the COVID-19 situation.

• To support students during the closure of all elementary, junior high and high schools in Japan, we have introduced the following services:

- LINE Official Account “School Plan”: Official Accounts free of charge to enable closed schools to communicate with their students and families

- LINE Screen Share Function: Users are able to share their computer screens during a group video call with up to 200 people

- "LINE#Everyone’sGraduationCeremony": An event to support students who were not able to take part in their graduation ceremonies due to the schools closure

- LINE Mirai Foundation Official Account: Study-at-home tools for students 


Initiatives to support users in Korea 

• LINE Disaster Alert Official Account: A newly added a COVID-19 alarm function to the LINE Disaster Alert Official Account for Korean users. Users can receive and check updates on the current COVID-19 status in Korea – based on the announcements by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) – from messages sent by the OA.  

• Contributing to local community and partners: LINE sent lunch boxes and jumeokbap (rice balls) to a hospital near the Bundang Square Office to support the medical team that is responding to the virus outbreak. For the lunch box and jumeokbap orders, LINE asked its small-business partners that are in charge of LINERs’ breakfast and lunch, in the hope that these replacement orders will be helpful to them.


Initiatives to support users in Taiwan 

• LINE and HTC have partnered with Taiwan Centers for Disease Control to enable people under quarantine to easily report their health status using a quarantine chatbot. The Official Account also allows users to conduct an online health assessment and access the CDC hotline to consult with medical professionals. (4/15)

• Mission sticker: A set of stickers created by eight popular local creators that provide guidelines on public health. The stickers can be downloaded for free once users add the Ministry of Health and Welfare Official Account, which also disseminates information on COVID-19. (4/15)

• Mask Map: A feature for LINE SPOT, allowing users to search for nearby pharmacies where they could buy surgical masks. 

• LINE TODAY editors joined the media group chat created by the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control to collect and disseminate accurate and official information about COVID-19.

• Discounted Official Accounts for tier 1-3 central government entities, city halls and county halls: These government OAs can push free messages during the COVID-19 emergency.

• Free content services for people under quarantine or self-monitoring: For people who are quarantined or self-monitored at home around Taiwan, LINE is providing a 14-day free trial of LINE TV and LINE MUSIC via local government agency.


Initiatives to support users in Indonesia 

• LINE supports organizations that raise funds for COVID-19 through promotion via internal and external channels. (4/15)

• LINE Siaga website: Complete information related to COVID-19, including up-to-date statistics, individual province updates, hospital recommendations and news. Content will be expanded to include more #StayAtHome activities under three pillars: #StayHappy, #StayHealthy and #StayAwayFromHoax. (4/15)

• LINE Siaga Official Account: For updates and educational information related to COVID-19.

• Educational stickers: Stickers offering health tips together with local creators to prevent the spread of COVID-19

• LINE Timeline Banner: Showcasing the latest statistics about COVID-19, including number of positive and negative test results.


Initiatives to support users in Thailand 

• Contributing to local community and partners: LINE donated several hundred face shields made using a 3D printer to frontline medical workers at the Bhumibol Adulyadej Hospital in Bangkok. (4/15)

• "Work on LINE" promotion: LINE tips and tricks for those working at home, including on the use of LINE Call and LINE Video Call, which supports up to 200 people, and a live feature in LINE Group Chat, which supports up to 500. (4/3)

• Donation stickers: Stickers offering health tips together with local creators, whereby all donations go to the Thai Red Cross Society. (4/3)

• LINE TV: Live daily broadcasts for free, allowing users access to the government’s daily updates on COVID-19 and other important announcements. (4/3)

• Educational communications campaign in conjunction with Thai Media Fund and the Ministry of Public Health to educate the public on COVID-19. (4/3)

• COVID-19 Info Hub: A newly launched mini-app that provides a daily health assessment.

• LINE TODAY: A central news hub for updates and other information regarding COVID-19.  

• An Official Account offering updates and educational information related to COVID-19.


Measures to support global LINE Group employees 

• LINE Group has established business continuity plans with internal committees comprised of the management team, risk management, in-house physicians, HR and general affairs personnel in the event countermeasures need to be undertaken to support employees, users and all other stakeholders.

• All employees have been advised to work from home, and as such flex time and work-from-home guidelines have been introduced. (4/3)

• In line with local government guidelines, response protocols have been developed so that those who show symptoms of infection can take appropriate measures immediately.

• Preventative measures, including regular temperature checks and providing hand sanitizer in common areas, have been undertaken.

• Large events, conferences and training sessions have been postponed, cancelled or put online.

• Recruitment interviews are being conducted over video chat.

• In Japan, employees receive a monthly allowance of JPY 5,000 for the purchase of masks and hand sanitizer, and to cover work from home costs. (4/15)

• In Korea, LINE delivered protective face masks for the family members of LINERs that live in Daegu city or Gyeongsangbuk Province, areas hit hard by COVID-19.

• Maintaining the safety of applicants in the recruiting process:

- In Korea, LINE Plus and subsidiaries conducted the 2020 Entry Level SW Developer LINER Recruitment using a “100% online-based untact” method (a locally coined term combining “un” and “contact”). All the steps, from the application process to the actual interviews were conducted online to ensure the applicants’ safety amidst the COVID-19 spread. (4/3)

- In Taiwan, LINE’s upcoming Developer Recruitment Day will also take place 100% online. (4/3)

• LINE Group has shifted all contracts to electronic form as of May 1, enabling our employees to handle work that involves contracts from the safety of their homes. (5/8)