Chinese companies make offer to acquire Opera Software

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 10, 2016
Updated • Sep 9, 2019

A consortium of Chinese Internet companies, among them Kunlun and Qihoo 360, plan to acquire Norwegian company Opera Software in a buyout valued at $1.2 billion US Dollars.

Rumors about a potential acquisition of Opera Software, or a sale of company assets, have circulated around the Internet as early as 2012.

While there has surely been interest by many companies to acquire Opera Software, no offer has been made publicly until yesterday.

The Chinese Internet company consortium values the browser maker at $1.2 billion, a premium of 53% over Opera Software's current stock market value before trading was stopped.

According to Re/code, Opera's board recommended to shareholders unanimously to approve the takeover offer. Opera shareholders and government entities need to approve the deal.

Opera Software will release earnings today, and the company's shares cannot be traded currently as the Oslo Stock Exchange Supervision stopped trading after the offer was mentioned in a Norwegian newspaper.

Opera Software, best known for its desktop and mobile browsers, changed from a browser developer to a company that makes most of its revenue from advertisement. The company acquired several key players in the advertising field in recent years, and managed to get a foothold into the compression market as well offering state of the art compression technologies.

Opera Software's latest acquisition, the VPN provider SurfEasy, has been integrated into the company's web browser.

Qihoo 360 is a Chinese Internet security company known for its antivirus software, web browser and mobile application store. The company has 4200 employees and hundreds of millions of users are using its Internet Security and Mobile Antivirus products as of 2014 according to Wikipedia.

Kunlun Inc is a leading developer of web games and mobile games with offices in China, Europe and North America and other locations.

It is unclear right now how this will affect development of the Opera browser if the acquisition is approved.

It seems unlikely that the new owners would retire the Opera browser considering that it has a sizable market share especially in the mobile world.

One likely scenario is that the Chinese companies pave the way for the Opera browser in China, and that they hope that the acquisition will help their expansion plans and growth in Europe, America and other parts of the world.

Now You: Would you keep on using a Chinese-owned Opera browser?

Chinese companies make offer to acquire Opera Software
Article Name
Chinese companies make offer to acquire Opera Software
A Chinese Internet consortium has made an acquisition offer for Norwegian company Opera Software valuing it at $1.2 billion US Dollars.
Ghacks Technology News

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. hahaha said on February 15, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    I don’t like Opera, ever.

  2. oz said on February 13, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    The last version of Opera’s web browser that I used was back in the late 1990’s (version 3.xx something, or other), so a buyout won’t impact me much, but I’d rather see them purchased by someone other than the Chinese. Unfortunately, the Chinese seem to be buying most of the world, and surely that can’t be good for everyone.

  3. Shadess said on February 12, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    I always find it hilarious when China/Russia does something and paranoid people come out in droves.

    No different from western companies.

  4. b003 said on February 12, 2016 at 5:05 am

    Bring back the Old Opera before the Chrome conversion and I would take a look at it. But I’ll always use firefox or a variant thereof .

  5. Anonymous said on February 11, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    I am unashamedly xenophobic, so I will be switching to Vivaldi as my secondary browser. Opera always seemed weird to me.

  6. insanelyapple said on February 11, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    In my opinion, Opera has ended its life with Presto – now it’s just another Chrome/Chromium clone with customized UI wrapping.

    And that’s sad in two ways: European piece of software that was here for years and we could be proud of, no longer exists and Opera Software didn’t released its code as open source. Also because Opera based on webkit/blink is the yet another step to “homogenizing” world of web browser engines and killing any innovations – why bother of making something new and unique or trying to keep your original ideas if you can get well-prepared code and wrap it up with some small customizations? Mozilla also adds to that “homogenization” with layout.css.prefixes.webkit entry supporting pages that were made exclusively for that engine; we went through similar scenario years ago where IE and Trident were in dominant position and pages were created just for that engine and display broken in other browsers…

  7. Mountainking said on February 11, 2016 at 7:36 am

    Time to look for another mobile browser which features text wrapping….I don’t see anything good coming out from this.

  8. Sam said on February 11, 2016 at 7:04 am

    Always know the location of your near and dear ones using GPS Phone Tracking

  9. Valrobex said on February 11, 2016 at 5:55 am

    Back in my business career I spent 5 “glorious” years working for a company out of Beijing, China. I was Chief Financial Officer and spent at least 25% of my time keeping their sorry asses out of the court rooms and out of jail. They were the most unscrupulous group of slimy bastards I ever had the “honor” of working with. They were far worse than any group of business practitioners I ever encountered. And I’ve worked extensively with business folks from Great Britain, Ireland, Mexico, Peru, Columbia, Japan, Taiwan, Turkey, as well as the US and Canada. (I was CFO of a very large engineering and construction company that designed and implemented equipment for the steel and aluminum industries.)

    I was eventually fired because I refused to “cook” the books which resulted in that the Chinese parent company had to pay US and state taxes. Approximately two years later that same Chinese company lost several very large law suits and with pending criminal investigations being conducted they closed up shop and high-tailed it back to China.

    Based upon this experience I avoid as much as possible everything Chinese. Believe me when I tell you that regardless of the spying, monitoring, and “what have you” conducted by various governmental agencies be they US, British, German, or whomever, those agencies can’t compare to the unholy sliminess of the Chinese.

    I’ve only casually played around with Opera but can tell you that never again shall I even consider using it now that the Chinese are acquiring it. To repeat Vitor I’s quote, “goodbye forever Opera Software.”

  10. Vítor I said on February 11, 2016 at 12:34 am

    I’ve stopped using Opera desktop since version 15. Mobile, that’s the problem: for android where can I get a “firewall” like Opera Max and a bandwidth saver like Opera Mini? There are alternatives, however their privacy policies makes me creeps.

    Anyway, goodbye forever Opera Software.

  11. smelter said on February 11, 2016 at 12:17 am

    Just hoping they develop the Presto Engine/Open Source it so anyone can fork it and improve it to be compatible in todays web standards. If not then bye Opera.

  12. juju said on February 11, 2016 at 12:10 am

    just cia homos doing shuffling and money laundering trying to get rid of the tail

    1. A 'Homo' in Iowa said on February 11, 2016 at 5:29 pm

      Homos? Really, dude?! Get your head out of your ass and grow up.

  13. Lestat said on February 10, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    Opera? Vivaldi and Otter Browser are more staying true to the old power user and geek mentality that Opera once possessed.

    Anyone can explain to me why wasting time with an almost customization-less Chrome skin when you can have more feature rich Chrome skins too?

  14. Georgia Dawg said on February 10, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    They’re willing to pay $1.2 billion for the browser? Don’t they know they can download it for free? :)

    If the Opera is sold, I’d most likely switch back to one of the other browsers I’ve used in the past. Been an Opera user for many years, hate to see it switch hands.

  15. Guest said on February 10, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    This actually gives me hope. Opera was pretty much stagnating anyway. What would be really nice is if the Norwegian company was forced to sell their Presto code, and if the Chinese company were to actively start working on Presto, reviving it. Fingers crossed everyone!

  16. S2015 said on February 10, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    who is Qihoo 360? its boss was the vendor of 3721 toolbar, and the security client itself has been caught cheating on benchmarking tests by submitting versions running A-V engines from rival Bitdefender instead!

  17. Graham said on February 10, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    Even back when the browser was still young, I still thought it was pretty pointless. Firefox and Opera were the two main choices (Chrome didn’t exist yet). One had ads, the other didn’t. Was it really that hard to pick?

  18. DrewCat said on February 10, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    I will stay with it, or not, depending upon development. I switch browsers fairly often based upon which one pisses me off the least.

  19. DerDonc said on February 10, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    Considering that Opera is my 2nd desktop-browser option after Firefox, I´ll still be using Opera. I think that at this moment our concerns regarding internet-privacy should be more NSA focussed. Especially after the whole Snowden thing. Not using a web browser because of it´s national origin seems kinda stupid to me…

    1. Bobby Phoenix said on February 10, 2016 at 9:17 pm

      On point, and besides there is already an excellent browser coming from a Chinese company: Maxthon.

  20. Nebulus said on February 10, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    I don’t care anymore, at least not after they switched away from Presto engine. :(

  21. no-chinese guy said on February 10, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    Wait… NSA and spying and recording ALL communication… that was Chinese state agency, right?
    C’mon people do not be xenophobic…

    1. not_black said on February 10, 2016 at 9:11 pm

      I don’t think you understand the meaning of xenophobia tbqh familia.

    2. Kin said on February 10, 2016 at 5:04 pm

      Putting kill switch in routers chips made in china, that’s what China’s companies do. NSA =evil? yes. But china states sponsored companies(and they pretty much all are) are just as bad.

  22. not_black said on February 10, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Time to chose another browser for Android then. Too bad, I liked Opera.

  23. Tom Hawack said on February 10, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    Why is it that I’m so aware of Russian and Chinese, be it domains, companies, when they aren’t worse than what can be found elsewhere, USA included. I’ll have to reconsider my initial reactions, not rational. After all why not Chinese funds in French vineyards or in Norwegian computing manufactures? Am I still wandering in this insane, hazardous Evil scheme? Looks like I am.

    1. Jason said on February 11, 2016 at 1:13 am

      Tom, yes, I had a similar reaction when I first read the article’s title. Subconsciously my brain went, “Oh, China is in the title. This must be a story about spying.” But you’re right – this is a TOTALLY IRRATIONAL response. It’s only happening to us because of conditioning by a very well funded propaganda machine.

      In all honesty, the spy agencies of the “Five Eyes” countries pose a far, far greater threat to my personal privacy and security than anything taking place in China. So why should I be paranoid about China? Besides, with all this propaganda and misdirection we lose sight of the fact that the Chinese government itself no longer trusts American tech companies, and won’t buy American products for high-security applications. That’s about as loud an indictment of American spying activities as you can get.

      Really, if Opera becomes a Chinese company, it probably won’t make a shred of difference. All I care about at the end of the day is whether software is open source or not. If it’s open source, the odds are in my favour. If it’s closed source, the odds are in the spies’ favour.

    2. Pants said on February 10, 2016 at 4:07 pm

      Take the red pill …

  24. Craig said on February 10, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Not a chance. Too many privacy concerns. Such a shame. Opera was great, although it did peak at Opera 12

    1. Pants said on February 10, 2016 at 4:06 pm

      That’s hilarious :) I don’t think the country makes a lick of difference. It’s a browser – if if started doing dodgy shit (and end users can capture/monitor traffic, and it would be highly scrutinized by experts), then it wouldn’t survive. I don’t think any company would just piss away the goodwill and existing customers worth 1.2b. That said, god only knows where this is heading. Oh yeah .. and also, Opera (Next) is a PoS browser anyway, and Opera (Presto) is way past it’s use-by date.

      1. Neal said on February 11, 2016 at 3:27 am

        The android store has a lot of browsers that are borderline shady. Some of them highly rated too like dolphin browser. Another one is UC browser, the most popular mobile browser in China, is verified shady, leaking and tracking all types of stuff.

        Software in China is pretty aggressive in trying to monetize users even to what we see in the west. Qihoo the reported company offering the bid has a history of being very shady. More search results if you go to the chinese web, however there are english news articles about their exploits. I wouldn’t touch anything from Qihoo.

      2. Andrew said on February 10, 2016 at 6:49 pm

        So so very true… I am amazed at how many people not trust one country while their own country is probably doing the same.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.