Line gets into food delivery

Line, Japan's US$8 billion social media giant, today launched a food delivery service.

Called Delima, it allows users of Line's messaging app to order and pay for food deliveries from 14,000 restaurants across Japan.

Line isn't hiring riders or runners for this - instead, the app "provides the platform" for any restaurant that wants to tap into it, a Line Corp spokesperson tells Tech in Asia this afternoon.

The food establishment itself has to do the delivery.

The new service is up against UberEats in Tokyo, as well as a number of local foodie startups.

It's actually Line's second attempt at food. The firm launched Line Wow, a premium meal delivery service, in Tokyo in October 2014, but it was shut down just over a year later.

"The potential for the smartphone food delivery business stays strong," says a Line Corp spokesperson today, alluding to the new effort being very different and much more accessible.

Line earlier today revealed that it's once again losing users on its messaging app, with 207 million people active each month versus 220 million at the same point in 2016.