BEIJING, Sept. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Tongcheng-Elong Holdings Limited (“Tongcheng-Elong” or the “Company”, together with its subsidiaries, the “Group”, HKG: 0780), a leading player in China’s online travel industry, today announced that it has signed an exclusive strategic partnership in Thailand with Rabbit-Line Pay Company (“Rabbit-Line Pay”), an integrated mobile payment platform embedded in LINE, a Japanese messaging app popular in many countries throughout Asia. Tongcheng-Elong’s online travel booking platform TravelGo.com, operated by eLong International Travel (Hong Kong) Limited (the “EITL”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tongcheng-Elong, will provide exclusive online transportation and accommodation reservation services for LINE users in Thailand.
LINE, based in Japan, is one of the most popular messaging apps in Thailand and other countries in Asia. It has over 46 million users in Thailand, accounting for more than 65% of the total number of mobile internet users in the region. With a messaging system at its cornerstone, LINE’s ecosystem provides a wide range of services, including content, social networking, games, financial services, digital payments, etc. Rabbit-Line Pay is a joint venture between LINE, BTS Group, a Thailand-based holding company engaged in the mass transit system, and Advanced Info Service Public Co., Ltd. (“AIS”), Thailand’s largest telecommunications carrier. Rabbit-Line Pay is one of the country’s leading digital payment platforms serving 8 million registered users, with an MAU ratio of 60%.
Established in 2018, TravelGo.com has provided online travel booking services in Chinese, English and Thai languages to international users. The strategic cooperation with Rabbit-Line Pay will enable TravelGo.com to bring seamless online travel booking services to more than 46 million LINE users in Thailand. As the exclusive partner for the online travel services of Rabbit-Line Pay, TravelGo.com will allow local residents in Thailand to book flights, buses and hotels through the LINE app. Currently, LINE users in Thailand can access Rabbit-Line Pay by clicking “wallet” in the LINE app, and then by directly clicking “Flight” and “Bus” buttons respectively to book tickets. The service of hotel booking is scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2021.
“Tongcheng-Elong is pleased to partner with Rabbit-Line Pay to share our success in mobile traffic management with our partner, as well as to provide local Thai residents with high-quality online travel services,” said Mr. Qiang Wang, Chief Operating Officer of Tongcheng-Elong. “We look forward to exploring opportunities in the mobile travel market in Thailand together with Rabbit-Line Pay.”
“The cooperation with TravelGo.com signals a great starting point for both parties to provide high-quality mobile travel services to Thai people as well as enriching LINE user experiences,” said Mr. Victor Topoyosakul, CEO of Rabbit-Line Pay.
As part of this partnership, LINE will introduce the use of TravelGo.com for online travel booking on the LINE app as well as in offline advertisements in transportation scenarios including bus stations and airports in Thailand, which will help residents become familiar with the service. Through this business partnership with Rabbit-Line Pay, Tongcheng-Elong is able to tap potentials in the Thai market and reach tens of millions of local users in Thailand, strengthening the company’s leadership in volume.
About Tongcheng-Elong Holdings Limited
Tongcheng-Elong Holdings Limited (the “Company”) is a market leader in China’s online travel industry. The Company is the combined business resulting from the Tongcheng-eLong Merger, which was completed in March 2018. The Company is a one-stop shop for users’ travel needs. With the mission of “We make travel easier and more joyful,” the Company offers a comprehensive and innovative selection of products and services covering nearly all aspects of travel, including transportation ticketing, accommodation reservation and various ancillary value-added travel products and services designed to meet users’ evolving travel needs throughout their trips. According to iResearch, on a Tongcheng-eLong combined basis, the Company ranked third in terms of GMV in China’s online travel market in 2017, with the highest year-over-year growth from 2015 to 2017 in online transportation ticketing and accommodation reservation transactions in China’s OTA travel market. Tongcheng and eLong were among the first third-party online service providers operating portals on the mobile payment interface of Tencent’s Weixin and were, according to iResearch, among the first OTAs to reach users nationwide through super apps. The Company has been awarded the “Best Mini Program of the Year” by Aladdin Index in 2018 and 2019. The Company is currently the sole operator of the “Rail & Flight” and “Hotel” portals in the mobile payment interface of Tencent’s Weixin and Mobile QQ.
About LINE Corporation
Based in Japan, LINE Corporation (NYSE:LN/TSE:3938) is dedicated to the mission of “Closing the Distance,” bringing together information, services and people. The LINE messaging app launched in June 2011 and since then has grown into a diverse, global ecosystem that includes AI technology, Fintech and more. In Thailand, LINE introduced its messaging service in 2012, and quickly grew into the country’s leading social media platform with 46 million monthly active users.
About Rabbit-Line Pay
Rabbit-Line Pay is a joint venture among LINE, BTS Group, a Thailand-based holding company engaged in the mass transit system, and Advanced Info Service Public Co., Ltd. (“AIS”), Thailand’s largest telecommunications carrier. Rabbit-Line Pay is one of the country’s leading digital payment platforms serving 8 million registered users, with a Monthly Active User (MAU) ratio of 60%.
TravelGo.com, operated by Tongcheng-Elong’s wholly-owned subsidiary eLong International Travel (Hong Kong) Limited (the “EITL”), is a leading online travel booking platform for international users. Launched in 2018, TravelGo.com provides travel booking services in Chinese, English and Thai languages to global users.