What is going on at Opera Software? - gHacks Tech News

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What is going on at Opera Software?

An analysis of Opera Software's performance by Hindenburg Research suggests that the company that is best known for its Opera web browser faces troubling times.

Note: Hindenburg Research specializes in "forensic financial research". Opera Software has not reacted to the report at the time of writing. The law firm of Kirby McInerney LLP is investigating these potential claims against Opera Limited.

Update: Opera has released a statement

The Company is aware of and has carefully reviewed the report published by the short seller on January 16, 2020. The Company believes that the report contains numerous errors, unsubstantiated statements, and misleading conclusions and interpretations regarding the business of and events relating to the Company.

The Company has recently launched and scaled multiple new businesses and has continued to post strong financial results, and intends to continue leveraging its well-known brand and large user base of more than 350 million users for additional growth. The Company also remains committed to maintaining high standards of corporate governance and constantly evolving our products, practices and governance.

End

The company was acquired by a Chinese-based investor group in 2018 prior to its IPO and things have taken a turn for the worse since then. The company's browser gross margins "collapsed by 22.6% in just one year" and the company has "swung to negative $12 million in LTM operating cash flow" from a positive $32 million in the 2018 period.

opera browser

Hindenburg Research's analysis of Opera Software's performance and activity since the management change. It uncovered that Opera's CEO "was recently involved in a Chinese lending business" that saw its shares plunge by more than "80% in two years" and that Opera has started to make a "similar and dramatic pivot into predatory short-term loans in Africa and India".

The bulk of Opera's lending business is operated through applications offered on Google's Play Store according to Hindenburg Research and in "violation of numerous Google rules". The company concludes that these applications may be removed by Google at any time which in turn would cause Opera Software to lose a large part of the company's revenue.

According to Hindenburg, Opera generates "over 42% of the company's revenue" from its short-term loan business. If that would not be bad enough already, Hindenburg Research's analysis suggests that Opera's CEO is directing company cash into businesses owned by the Chairman to "draw out cash".

Hindenburg Research believes that Opera stock will go down significantly in the next 12 month period. The company set a price target of $2.60 on Opera; Opera Ltd's last course was $7.05 on NASDAQ on January 17, 2020. The course was at $9.02 two days prior but took a dive after reports went live.

What does this  mean for users of the Opera web browser?

It is too early to come to a final conclusion. The claims made by Hindenburg Research need to be be looked at and it remains to be seen how Opera will react to the report.

If the allegations are true, it could potentially mean the end of Opera and the Opera web browser.

Now You: What is your take on all of this?

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What is going on at Opera Software?
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What is going on at Opera Software?
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An analysis of Opera Software's performance by Hindenburg Research suggests that the company that is best known for its Opera web browser faces troubling times.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. amb said on January 19, 2020 at 3:06 pm
    Reply

    whatever happens i hope it will free presto

    1. notanon said on January 20, 2020 at 8:16 am
      Reply

      Presto died when the source code was leaked (by some moron).

      The NSA has already pwned it by now.

      1. Zero3K said on February 1, 2020 at 4:43 pm
        Reply

        Its not dead.

      2. Zero3K said on February 1, 2020 at 4:45 pm
        Reply

        Search Kickstarter.com for it.

  2. Uwe said on January 19, 2020 at 3:17 pm
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    Never used Opera. Do not trust them. My delault browser is Firefox and I’m very satisfy with it.

    Actually, I don’t care about Opera… never did.

    1. nonW00t said on January 19, 2020 at 10:30 pm
      Reply

      Ditto.. Though I never had trust issues with them, I certainly would now being backed by some Chinese company. ha

    2. Lindsay said on January 21, 2020 at 8:05 am
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      I cared about them a lot but that ended when it became clear that v12 users had been completely abandoned. That was a few years ago now.

      1. Anonymous said on January 22, 2020 at 6:15 pm
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        @Lindsay – Agreed.
        v.12 was fast, stable, and easy to use. After v.16 things went downhill. Although I still have it installed I rarely use it any more except to compare how sites look on different browsers.

  3. Danny said on January 19, 2020 at 3:23 pm
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    This is sad news indeed. I started using Opera with version 5 (?) when it became freeware but with a small banner ad. Ever since I’ve religiously used it as my main browser while the browser war was being fought by IE and Firefox. I remember some of the dickish attacks by Mozilla employees (Asa Dotzler mostly) against Opera whenever Opera users point out features developed in Opera that Firefox “borrowed”. Microsoft was not fully innocent either, and Opera released its Bork Edition to complain about Microsoft’s intentional “borking” of their MSN website for Opera users.

    I started using other browsers when Opera slowed down development of the classic browser with Presto engine and later started using the Blink engine. Now I am using Firefox as my main browser. Opera was a great browser and I had stubbornly stayed with it when it was being left behind by the bigger browsers.

    Maybe Vivaldi could buy Opera and bring it back to its glory days.

    1. Vivaldi Boi said on February 23, 2020 at 2:42 am
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      Why would Vivaldi ever do that?!

  4. Suzy said on January 19, 2020 at 3:47 pm
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    I stopped trusting it when it was sold. It’s closed source (but always was, you have to trust the current owner), the installer hides the send telemetry option in advanced options and all privacy related settings are opt out which indicates privacy isn’t a top priority. Locked down default search engines. Plus it hasn’t much that makes it unique, perhaps the pseudo vpn if you really want to trust that. There are far better options in my opinion so if it disappears it won’t be a huge loss.

    1. [email protected] said on January 20, 2020 at 8:20 am
      Reply

      Closed source is better.

      Edward Snowden has stated that closed source is harder for NSA to crack.

      Open source is easy by comparison, because all the code is there for the taking.

      People are morons, & now all our browsers are open source.

      The NSA rejoices!

      1. Kubrick said on January 20, 2020 at 10:18 am
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        @[email protected]
        That is incorrect.Open source can be audited by hundreds of people and unknown code will be spotted sooner.
        closed source is putting trust into the company who creates the browser and it isn’t open for public audit.

      2. notanon said on January 20, 2020 at 12:36 pm
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        @Kubrick, NSA is not injecting/adding new code, [Editor: please stay polite]!

        NSA is finding all the vulnerabilities in the code, so they can hack it/pwn/spy on it.

        You’re stupid post is moot.

        Read what Snowden stated before you post your [Editor: please stay polite] & WRONG statements.

      3. Kubrick said on January 20, 2020 at 6:12 pm
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        @notanon
        is firefox hacked then?.Are the linux distros hacked and spied upon.?.they are open source.So do you recommend chrome and opera as viable safe browsers.?.your post is extremely misleading and stupid.is google to be trusted seeing as they are closed source.Ridiculous comment from yourself.

      4. paul said on January 22, 2020 at 2:16 am
        Reply

        I am using http://www.epicbrowser.com and It’s very Good!

        Excellent Awesome Firewall BeeThink IP Blocker <<
        https://www.beethink.com

        Process Explorer
        https://filehippo.com/download_process_explorer

        https://www.nirsoft.net/utils/cports.html
        Monitoring Opened TCP/IP network ports / connections

        https://www.ghacks.net/2017/02/11/blocking-telemetry-in-windows-7-and-8-1

      5. suzy said on January 20, 2020 at 9:32 pm
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        A closed source project that doesn’t seem to care much about privacy isn’t good when it comes to browsers. Anyway this article was about the very shady short term loan business they’ve got in to. I was having a proper read about it and would be very surprised if google allow it to continue as they are lying at every turn. The millions going to the ceo looks very dodgy too.

  5. Malte said on January 19, 2020 at 3:47 pm
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    There was a time when Opera was the best (most innovative) browser on the market. I also liked the welcoming community, the hosted blogs and i even had an Opera email address. These times are long gone. It’s sad that this company is about to cease to exist. Sure, now we have Vivaldi. While i like their email service, i don’t use the browser. It’s not on par with the old Opera feeling & usability.

    1. Vivaldi Boi said on February 23, 2020 at 2:45 am
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      I wouldn’t say it’s on par with old Opera. It has some of the stuff from old Opera and it has some new stuff.
      But I would agree its spirit is on par with the spirit of old Opera.

      Why don’t you use it though?

  6. Naim said on January 19, 2020 at 3:51 pm
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    Opera’s soul departed and now resides in Vilvaldi.
    If it replicates Opera Turbo’s functionalty then it would be ripe to absorb anyone disappointed by this. Bandwidth-saving Turbo was a major boon.

    1. Jody Thornton said on January 20, 2020 at 10:50 am
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      I just never saw how Vivaldi users find that it’s as customizable as the old Opera. I remember v8.5 as the most configurable release ever, and for a long time, it still rendered sites surprisingly well. But Vivaldi seems more like a flat mobile look to me.

      1. Vivaldi Boi said on February 23, 2020 at 2:52 am
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        So, regarding the customizability (I mean the way the GUI elements are placed on the screen), I’m with you on this one. Old Opera was way more customizable for a regular user, which I still miss.
        BUT Vivaldi can be customized via CSS in insane ways which were just not possible in old Opera. I don’t use this, but I’ve seen some VERY impressive things.
        Too bad there is no easy way to share and use these customizations as a regular user (as far as I know).
        When they will figure that one out, it will be insanely awesome.

  7. [email protected] said on January 19, 2020 at 4:06 pm
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    well thanks for all the fishies. to be fair they stopped listening their users a very long time ago.

  8. Albuquerque said on January 19, 2020 at 4:23 pm
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    I use Opera only because it loads pages faster than Chrome for whatever reason. I will keep using it until it shuts down and find another Chromium fork. I don’t care about Opera or what happens to it, it’s just a tool that I use.

    The Presto Opera under Jon von Tetzchner wasn’t much better either. Even back around 2007 Firefox has smoked it with it add-ons and ad-blocking capabilities. Only when Opera switched to Blink or WebKit so that it could make use of Chrome’s extensions, it became worth of something.

    Vivaldi on the other hand feels like it’s stuck in development hell with bugs and issues from back in 2015 still present in the browser. The development focusing on adding whatever useless gimmicky features they could think of. (Current Opera isn’t much different – there is is a lot of trash features that I have to turn off to make it usable… if Chrome loaded websites as fast as Opera, I wouldn’t have to deal with Opera)

    So whatever happens to Opera, I don’t care. I wish Mozilla shuts down, though. They ruined Firefox which I loved and they keep making it worse so I wish them bankruptcy. I bet if Firefox become a project supported by volunteers, it would be better than being developed by the deluded folks at Mozilla.

  9. Wass said on January 19, 2020 at 4:38 pm
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    If Opera browser goes down, I think the benefactor should be Vivaldi browser. I expect Opera users will join Vivaldi because it’s the closest thing to Opera if not better.

    1. Luzandro said on January 19, 2020 at 7:45 pm
      Reply

      It’s the logical choice, but I still prefer Opera on mobile as well as on desktop and contrary to my expectations I even found Operas updates in the recent years more useful than Vivaldis.

    2. Indenim said on January 19, 2020 at 8:46 pm
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      Well, Vivaldi was written, after all, by former members of the Opera Software team who didn’t like the fact the browser was purchased by China and “defected”. I’ve used Vivaldi for years now – it’s extremely customizable to tailor it to your likes, runs Chrome extensions, and it (along with Brave) is one of my two main browsers. The owners recently, with the latest release, “fell on their swords” for removing any visability of Vivaldi – by adopting a standard user-agent string now indistinguishable from Chrome’s to protect user’s privacy (as Vivaldi browser usage will not be separable from that of the main Chrome browser, essentially making them “disappear” in rankings and usage). I kind of like the idea of a company doing something to benefit its users and so thanking them for their support – at risk of itself – rather than exploiting them.

      1. Vivaldi Boi said on February 23, 2020 at 3:01 am
        Reply

        That’s not why Vivaldi changed the user agent.
        They changed it because web developers in general and GOOGLE in particular do user agent sniffing STILL in 2020.
        Vivaldi has had continuous recurring issues with whatsapp web, google docs and other big services that are doing user agent sniffing and serving crap to Vivaldi, or worse, refuse to serve anything at all (like it happened to me many times for whatsapp web, and I’ve heard google docs also does something like that).

        The problem I have with this move is that I do not understand how Vivaldi is going to prove to search providers how many people use the browser. Search providers (and whatever oher partners) pay Vivaldi in total about one US dollar per year per user. So, they really need to count or estimate the users somehow.

  10. Uwe said on January 19, 2020 at 4:50 pm
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    Never trusted them. Using FF and I’m all satisfied. Fast, convinient, stable etcetc.

    Couldn’t care less about Opera since s Chinese firm overtook them.

    1. Jake Greene said on January 19, 2020 at 11:18 pm
      Reply

      Opera was one of the most innovative browsers, many of the features common on browsers today first appeared in Opera. It’s sad to see this happening to them but I think the innovators are all at Vivaldi now so hopefully they’ll continue the good work.

      Mozilla has had their fair share of privacy issues (like that whole pocket thing) in the past and there’s been years where FF was just too slow to use. They’re in business to make money too so I wouldn’t put a whole lot of trust in them either.

  11. Uwe said on January 19, 2020 at 4:54 pm
    Reply

    Let’s say absurb…

  12. A said on January 19, 2020 at 4:55 pm
    Reply

    I don’t think the browser still earn my trust after it is acquired by a Chinese company. They may steal my data or browsing history. That’s how things work in China.

  13. Uwe said on January 19, 2020 at 4:59 pm
    Reply

    @Martin

    Some comment trouble?

  14. Valrobex said on January 19, 2020 at 5:02 pm
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    Imagine that! The Chinese somehow getting involved in some nefarious activities.

    Many years ago I worked for a company that was 51% owned by a Chinese company and I spent considerable time dealing with all kinds of lawsuits because the Chinese didn’t care to follow the law. I left the company when the Chinese demanded that I “revise” the already published income & tax statements so they wouldn’t have to pay taxes.

    Needless to say, when the Chinese took over Oracle I stopped using Opera ( my #2 browser) because I knew nothing good would come from it. I do feel sorry for the employees, however. The employees are going to get screwed and they are innocent bystanders.

  15. chesscanoe said on January 19, 2020 at 5:03 pm
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    I removed Opera yesterday after seeing this report elsewhere. Even though it may be unfair, I do not want commercial software on my machine that may get very desperate to generate revenue. EdgeDEV and Chrome are my only remaining installed browsers (plus IE11 to install Java updates).

    1. Allwynd said on January 19, 2020 at 6:21 pm
      Reply

      Install Firefox and feel like a true rebel scum.

      1. Iron Heart said on January 20, 2020 at 8:47 am
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        @Allwynd

        Mozilla (developer of Firefox) is funded by Google, so you are not rebellious in the slightest. Try again.

    2. Anonymous said on January 20, 2020 at 1:17 am
      Reply

      You need IE to install Java?

  16. Iron Heart said on January 19, 2020 at 5:27 pm
    Reply

    First off: Kind reminder that Vivaldi, a competitor browser of Opera, is spearheaded by Jon von Tetzchner, founder and former employee of Opera. Might be worth taking a look at if you are an Opera fan.

    As for this report; I am not surprised at all. The consortium that bought Opera seemed quite fishy to begin with, this only confirms suspicions that were already raised upon the acquisition. I wouldn’t touch Opera under any circumstances, there are better and (by now) more credible alternatives out there.

    That being said, Opera is not the only browser developer known for its fishy activities. Mozilla for example, has given $100,000 to a mail platform primarily used by Antifa for communication:

    https://www.foxnews.com/tech/mozilla-gave-100000-to-secure-email-platform-harnessed-by-antifa-groups

    I lament the lack of credibility with today’s companies, it seems like operating a business normally and legally has become too difficult these days.

    1. Sebas said on January 20, 2020 at 5:06 pm
      Reply

      Good find, thank you. Mozilla supporting Antifa, really. Tomorrow Firefox is gone from my desktop. For ever.

    2. Dude without a suit said on January 21, 2020 at 11:01 am
      Reply

      @Iron Heart: Wow, we go full conspiracy? The only places this news is reported with THAT headline is either Fox News, Infowars, or other alt-right sites.

      Not to mention that the REAL news is them donating to RiseUp, that’s usable by anyone.

      When I say that you have ISSUES with Firefox, I’m not kidding.

    3. Dave Johnson said on February 10, 2020 at 5:10 am
      Reply

      The thing about security is everyone who might be targetted wants it, no matter who the potential infiltrator might be. I should imagine Antifa use secure locks on their front doors as well. Does that make Schlage door locks a dubious company? (Not that I happen to see Antifa as a covert organisation I would use as an example of a threat to average decent folk, I don’t usually think much of the people they protest at)

      Firefox does have its issues, supporting secure systems is not one of them.

      I notice your article comes from foxnews, one of several the NSA public relations firms – how much do you think NSA like the idea of easy access to securely encrypted email?

      Dave J.

    4. Anonymous said on February 17, 2020 at 8:52 pm
      Reply

      ive had a riseup email account for years and i am definately not antifa. saying” primarily used by Antifa for communication” is a way to be slanderous with only a foxnews report to back it up.

  17. ekR said on January 19, 2020 at 5:50 pm
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    … the Opera Browser itself became untrustworthy early in its public life.
    There are much better browser options — and this mess in Opera’s business/management infrastructure should convince consumers to avoid it IMO.

    Early versions of Opera were useful & innovative… but the browser gradually degenerated jnto a complex, mysterious bundle of code dwelling in one’s hardware.
    Opera’s many automatic network connections became much too difficult to track or restrict for user security/privacy.

  18. Rakib Hasan said on January 19, 2020 at 5:56 pm
    Reply

    Once Opera was a great browser

  19. Alejandro said on January 19, 2020 at 5:57 pm
    Reply

    Using it here since Presto 9.

    Since 2012 changes there 2as many different things.

    Looking at their Forum would give an idea on the user’s listening, then also the Company’s chief direction.

    Sadly…

    Will see what happens.

    We have a matured Vivaldi at least.

  20. Bobo said on January 19, 2020 at 6:01 pm
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    Casualties of the great browser war.. Firefox is next.

  21. Stv said on January 19, 2020 at 6:03 pm
    Reply

    It is dying slowly and steadily.

    People are running from software owned/controlled by the chinese government and this is good, very good.

  22. S K Lewicki said on January 19, 2020 at 6:20 pm
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    I’ve used Opera since Opera 3! It has always been my primary browser although I do use Vivaldi and Firefox occasionally. I always regretted the disappearance of the e-mail client which was always the best I’d used, and Thunderbird is still clunky by comparison. I find Firefox slow and Vivaldi cluttered and complicated to use, but it looks as if I may need to get practising…

    1. Samanto Hermes said on January 20, 2020 at 1:20 am
      Reply

      > Thunderbird is still clunky by comparison
      Have you tried Interlink Mail & News?

    2. Vivaldi Boi said on February 23, 2020 at 3:06 am
      Reply

      What do you mean when you say Vivaldi is cluttered?
      If you don’t mess with the settings, it’s just as plain as any other browser.
      If you don’t need the extra useful features, just don’t use them.
      What exactly is bothering you in Vivaldi?

  23. svim said on January 19, 2020 at 6:53 pm
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    This is sad news, Opera was for a time such a major innovator in web browsers. Never a dominant player but always had very significant role in introducing things like tabs that all the other browsers would absorb.
    Now it’s just one of several Chromium clones. It’s Presto web engine never gained a foothold in the browser market but at least it was another option out there. We’re all going to be locked into just Blink, with Gecko on the fringes.

  24. clake said on January 19, 2020 at 7:04 pm
    Reply

    Schallfirm is already soliciting OPRA investors for potential class action suit.

  25. Wigglesprocket said on January 19, 2020 at 7:32 pm
    Reply

    there is something wrong with this website

    i post comments and they disappear

    either the website doesn’t record them

    or someone deletes them

  26. naveed said on January 19, 2020 at 7:58 pm
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    Opera is still my main browser at home. I was disappointed when they changed the rendering engine. It was the snappiest and most responsive browser available. I was even more disappointed when it was bought out by the Chinese company and I’d even considered ditching it.

    I don’t understand what a predatory lending company has to do with a browser. What is their goal? Snoop on data? How does Opera make money from the browser now? I know it has recommendations for some sites on the start page, but this is probably not enough.

    1. ULBoom said on January 20, 2020 at 5:25 am
      Reply

      Read the HIndenburg (love that name!) article, it’s all explained there.

      Warning: It’s looooong! But worth it.

    2. Declan said on January 22, 2020 at 6:23 pm
      Reply

      The reason predatory lenders affect the browser is because Opera is in financial trouble. Think of your company getting in financial trouble and regular lenders wont give you a break. So you go to a loan shark. You get the cash but the strings are too tight. If you fail then you are not only out of business – but you might swim with the fishes.

  27. michael said on January 19, 2020 at 8:21 pm
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    Wow, this comes as a surprise.

    Seems like there’s enormous pressure in the browser market now, which MS abandoning trident, Mozilla laying off staff, and now Opera being on the verge of bankruptcy.

  28. Paul(us) said on January 19, 2020 at 9:15 pm
    Reply

    Could it be a google-led attack on the Chinese browser?

  29. Kanchipori said on January 19, 2020 at 9:38 pm
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    Really a shame. I remember Opera was the most feature filled and lightweight browser package in the old days before extensions arrived on the scene. Firefox became too customizable with a large library of add-ons, but Opera retained a loyal fanbase. They tried some innovative things with servers and Opera Mail but it all went downhill after they gave up on Presto. Now all browsers are mostly the same and no innovation.

  30. ShintoPlasm said on January 19, 2020 at 10:08 pm
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    Still scratching my head about why a Chinese consortium would buy a Norwegian-based browser. It all seems so nonsensical, even several years on… What a mess!

    1. Mike W. said on January 20, 2020 at 5:31 am
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      My guess is they bought it because Opera has long had a large market share of users in developing country’s like Africa. The Chinese investors saw an opportunity to collect data and sell ads to users in these developing nations.

      I wish I was surprised by this news, but I’m not. My guess is Opera fades into further obscurity and/or is sold yet again by some billionaire with more money than brains.

    2. Anonee said on January 21, 2020 at 2:51 am
      Reply

      My guess is that China just wants to own a large/major browser and they realized it won’t be feasible for them to try and create and popularize one from scratch, so they decided to just swoop in and buy one of the existing browsers.

      Well of the 5 major browsers to choose from, they can’t buy IE/Edge since it is owned by Microsoft and they’re too large for China to purchase. Can’t purchase Google for the same reason, so Chrome is out of the equation. Then you have Apple which is the most valuable company in the world, so that leaves Safari out too.
      So when all is said and done, they only had either Firefox or Opera to choose from, and with Opera having a much smaller userbase, it was easier for them to buy Opera.

      1. phukew said on January 27, 2020 at 5:36 pm
        Reply

        It wasn’t “China” that wanted Opera, it was Qihoo 360 and Golden Brick Capital Group also invested to help close the deal.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qihoo_360#History

        It was simply a business investment, to hype their portfolio, which was likely a bad choice for the price they paid.

        I worked for Qihoo 360, fixing copy that was basically sabotaged by disgruntled employees from the outskirts of the old Opera camp.

        My firm offered to do PR for them, but they were too cheap, but more so they couldn’t even accept the idea that being “Chinese” was a bad image to promote.

  31. Sunny said on January 19, 2020 at 11:22 pm
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    i used Opera Since i used Dial up to connect Internet. i trust chinese More Than USA!! i don’t trust Chrome, IE or Edge, Firefox and others.

    1. phukew said on January 27, 2020 at 5:46 pm
      Reply

      Opera sells data to the highest bidder, which are often USA based companies.

      It doesn’t much what countries these companies are based in, as they are international conglomerates of one sort the other.

  32. Techno said on January 19, 2020 at 11:37 pm
    Reply

    Looks like it was bought to deliberately asset-strip it and run it into the ground.

  33. Croatoan said on January 19, 2020 at 11:57 pm
    Reply

    Is there any other mobile browser with tab button and options at bottom?

    1. smaragdus said on January 20, 2020 at 5:16 am
      Reply

      Yuzu browser – https://github.com/hazuki0x0/YuzuBrowser – it may be abandoned, yet it is the best mobile browser in terms of customization and convenience, plus it is open source.

      1. Croatoan said on January 25, 2020 at 9:52 pm
        Reply

        I found one. Firefox Preview.

  34. Anonymous said on January 20, 2020 at 12:33 am
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    Not trusting any stuff when some (shady) Chinese company is involved. Reading the article just shows that seriousness and that Company seem to be mutual exclusive.

  35. Samanto Hermes said on January 20, 2020 at 12:54 am
    Reply

    R.I.P. Opera. Long live Pale Moon, Brave, Vivaldi and WebkitGTK. Chrome, Firefox and Edge could go f**k themselves.

  36. Raj said on January 20, 2020 at 2:09 am
    Reply

    Sad to hear but that is the beginning of the fall of the once great Opera

  37. Mike W. said on January 20, 2020 at 2:17 am
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    @Paul(us)

    Why would Google care about Opera? Opera was never a threat to their dominance in marketshare and never was going to be.The only people who “sabotaged” Opera was the Chinese owners who clearly bought the company to data mine users and to use it as a front. Not surprising since the firms that bought Opera had a long history of sketchy behavior.

    I won’t be overly sad to see Opera go. There are better alternatives on the market.

  38. Anonymous said on January 20, 2020 at 3:17 am
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    Opera is the only mobile browser that doesn’t insist I download the intrusive Messenger app for Facebook……please let me know if I’m missing one……

  39. Muhammad Firza said on January 20, 2020 at 4:00 am
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    At this time Opera was a closed-source web browsers (Shareware) in the early days and 10 years later Opera itself converted from Shareware to Freeware web browser because people no needed to showing ad banners in navigation, not webpages. Presto was a best engine for Opera until 2016, but now Opera become a Google Chrome-alike however Vivaldi become a “New Opera”. I wasn’t open Opera because the web loading are insufficient and boring, http flagged as not secure is also worst improvement, too much privacy & security incentives and customization were banned since Chromium-based.

  40. manskybook said on January 20, 2020 at 4:07 am
    Reply

    Opera is more important to its European base, and its versions proliferate in mobile in Europe. There it is more significant than FireFox (which is a labor of love), and it makes its way into many corners of the internet, and keeps pace with web standards. In North America, it’s just something web developers need to include when testing, and most other folks trip into using it, occasionally, or rarely, as their main browser. Not surprising that Chinese industry seeks to feed on its bones.

  41. Graham said on January 20, 2020 at 4:54 am
    Reply

    Even back when Firefox was the browser of choice before Chrome came along, I always knew that Opera was an inferior browser. Does anyone remember back in the mid-2000s when Opera had a free version that was ad-supported (I’m not sure if that still is the case) and Firefox didn’t have that baggage? Please, like I would download that when I could have a free browser with no ads by default.

    And now it’s owned by a Chinese consortium which makes it worse. Opera was doomed for a looooooong time.

    1. Ben said on January 22, 2020 at 4:24 pm
      Reply

      When Opera was ad-supported in 2000, the only other free browser was IE. Opera up to that point had been trialware to paid subscription. Netscape was paid-for or sponsored software (I used to get copies from my Uni) and Firefox didn’t reach version 1 until 2004. Firefox was a community labour of love that was poisoning its main sponsor, Netscape, which in return was being slowly butchered by the requirements of AOL to influence users to their services. ‘Free’ software browsers that weren’t in hock to some sponsor really only appeared when the search engines started to pay to be the default browser – again Opera was a pioneer in this.

      At this point it was anything but inferior. It was fast, lightweight and innovative with a history of laser-focused commercial development to please paying end-users. It introduced the world to tabbed browsing and using mouse gestures (the hold right click and move left to go back or right to go forward was amazingly intuitive – an innovation which still baffles me that other browsers have not emulated), while keyboard shortcuts, address auto-complete, a minimal collapsible interface and zoom function that worked even with Flash showed how far it was ahead of the competition.

      As someone going through Uni, I found the ability to store notes directly from the text in the browser incredibly useful for productivity. And unlike other browsers it stored the whole web page in cache, so going back in history meant the page *instantly* reloaded, which had a notable improvement in my personal online productivity in my work (which involved a lot repetitive use of the same sign-in process) versus IE or FF at the time.

      I agree that it is ‘worse’ but only since version 12 (still keep a copy of that installed), when they finally threw in the towel and had to junk their own dedicated layout engine and adopt Blink, fundamentally adopting Chrome’s paradigms, limiting their room to innovate and subsequently having to sell to Chinese owners. Starved of cash and talent, much of the development core have moved to work on Vivaldi and I am a happy user of that browser.

  42. oldkensy said on January 20, 2020 at 5:08 am
    Reply

    “The company was acquired by a Chinese-based investor group in 2018 prior to its IPO and things have taken a turn for the worse since then. ”

    Now, it had taken a turn for worse since Opera 12.15 at least. Ever since Techner left the boat Opera has gone downard and downard again.

  43. ULBoom said on January 20, 2020 at 5:23 am
    Reply

    Read this yesterday. If the “CEO” doesn’t end up in prison for money laundering, it will be amazing. “Tech” “leaders” seem to have very poor self-perception; what Zhou is doing is very obvious. It’s what LBO firms do, issue large periodic payments to themselves from the assets of the company bought out, move assets, etc., and gradually kill it. Not illegal but a rather slimy way to make money, everyone wins except the employees of the target company who lose their jobs. Zhou’s approach seems rather illegal though, if the HIndenburg article is correct.

    Usury loans in Africa through a phone (wtf?!) to those who own almost nothing with default the intent of the lendee and default the hope of the lender is a great addition to Project No More Opera after Google bans this stuff. I hope the poor people who default walk away clean, hiding “Who the hell underwrote these loans to us? Hah, Hah!!” grins.

    I tried Opera when it first appeared and didn’t much like it but kept track of progress until Mr. Zhou’s greed company bought it, then totally lost interest.

    Vivaldi is more or less what Opera started out to be although the brand “Opera” has much wider recognition. Interesting times…

  44. Billybob said on January 20, 2020 at 5:45 am
    Reply

    What’s sad is that everyone is going to believe everything Hindenburg Research is putting out. What the article doesn’t say, is that Hindenburg Research is a company that makes money on shorting stocks. Do your research and you will see what is true and what is speculation.

  45. Billybob said on January 20, 2020 at 5:49 am
    Reply

    What is sad is that everyone is going to believe everything they read without doing their own research. What the article doesn’t say, is that Hindenburg Research is a company that makes money from shorting stocks. Do your own research and you will see what is true and what is false.

    1. Mike W. said on January 24, 2020 at 4:58 am
      Reply

      Opera claims the report is filled with falsehoods. Well, what are they then? Opera can’t seem to say what those are…coincidentally I’m sure.

  46. Benjamin said on January 20, 2020 at 7:59 am
    Reply

    Another fine example that finance was and is a criminal endeavour for the few against the many. These kind of people do not work nor do they produce anything of value neither for society nor for anybody else except themself and their criminal cliques. Even the financial research groups the world over can and will, by and with their reporting, drive any healthy business, individual, state or currency into ruin.

  47. notanon said on January 20, 2020 at 8:41 am
    Reply

    I wouldn’t believe an investor who has a vested interest in seeing Opera fail, so they can swoop in & buy on the cheap.

    That being said, Opera died when the source code was released (by some moron), shortly after the Opera’s Presto browser was sold.

    As Edward Snowden stated, closed source is harder for the NSA to hack; whereas, open source is easier to hack, because all the source code is available for the NSA to pour over.

    Presto Opera was the most secure browser of it’s time, & Opera patched Presto Opera faster than any other browser company.

    Once Opera made the fatal mistake of abandoning the Presto engine & moving to Blink, their fate was sealed.

    Opera has been dying for years. None of the Chromium clones will ever succeed, because Chrome is the de facto Chromium browser. Frankly, if you use a Chromium browser, you deserve Chrome, LOL.

    In a few years, there will be Chrome, Firefox, & Safari (so only 2 choices for Windows users). Opera is a dead-end, like Brave, Vivaldi, & all the other browser built on the Blink engine.

    China has been investing in Africa, because Africa has untapped natural resources (minerals, raw materials) that China will need in the future, when their own natural resources decline.

    Africa is poor, because every black government on the planet has failed in modern times. Zimbabwe is the poster child of African governance. The forcibly stole all the farm land from white farmers, but they didn’t know how to farm, so they went from the bread basket of Africa, to a failed state. Now they want the white farmers to come back to work on the farmlands they stole, LOL.

    China investing in Africa is nothing new.

  48. Jeff said on January 20, 2020 at 11:31 am
    Reply

    Karma is a bitch

  49. Coolnews said on January 20, 2020 at 11:42 am
    Reply

    No surprising news at all, companies write their own fake stuff all the time and then suddenly they go bankrupt and everyone looks… “surprised”. Opera has clay feet in reality, with many expenses and being a traded company, it always has been a matter of time for its collapse.
    Apart from that Jon von Tetzchner -the founder of Opera- made Vivaldi after they forced him leave the company so that they would create that ugly hipstery monstrocity, so no old fan of Opera Presto really cares about Opera for years now, but only for Vivaldi.

  50. JohnIL said on January 20, 2020 at 2:45 pm
    Reply

    The whole Chinese connection never helped Opera and its never really had anymore then a niche following. I think those Opera developers that went to Vivaldi saw this coming awhile ago.

  51. Clairvaux said on January 20, 2020 at 3:15 pm
    Reply

    I uninstalled Opera after reading the original report yesterday. Do read it in full : it’s damning.

    It’s not only that they are in financial dire straits. Those people are white-collar criminals, pure and simple. They target poor Africans with predatory, short-term lending offers, and they lie and cheat on the loan terms, which are already extortionate as advertised.

    The scam works this way : download a phone app, specifically targeted to some African countries. This app offers you to borrow a sum of money for a few days — and of course the interest is sky-high. But you’re interested, because you need the money, and the interest, in absolute terms, is not very high — since you borrow small amounts, being dirt-poor anyway.

    This is already in breach with the rules of the Google store, which only allows longer-term loans (don’t ask me why).

    Then, just before you validate the transaction (or even just after, I’m not sure about that), the terms of the offer change, and they get much worse. The annual interest rate might reach 800 %, to give you an idea.

    But how to they make sure they get repaid ? That’s the trick.

    First of all, the app sweeps all your contacts. If you default on paying back, they send messages to all your contacts telling them you’ve defaulted on your loan, and please tell your friend to pay us, orhterwise there will be consequences. This includes your employer, of course.

    Then, in at least one of the targeted countries, you have to give a government ID number to get your loan. This government ID tracks your credit worthiness. If you default on a loan, you can’t get a job. Because any potential employer will check this first.

    So they don’t only charge you extortionate interest (which would be illegal in most countries in the world), they also prevent you from working to pay it.

    Those guys need to be punished. Their denial does not deny anything. It’s a blanket statement which does not get into any detail at all.

    They just bought Opera to use it as a decoy for illegal activities, and may I add that this is a blatant example of Chinese colonialism over Africa, which goes way beyond anything Europe has done on the continent.

    1. Ray said on January 20, 2020 at 9:07 pm
      Reply

      Agreed. They bought Opera for its brand equity and now they are using the brand for this nefarious short-term loan business in developing countries.

      They know this short-term loan lending will not work in the developed world due to all the regulatory bodies and whatnot. However, the developing world is still the Wild Wild West. Surprised Google Play has let those apps stay in circulation for so long.

    2. Iron Heart said on January 20, 2020 at 9:14 pm
      Reply

      Wow, that’s evil & shouldn’t be supported at all! As users, we should show Opera the door by boycotting it. A once great project run into the ground by people totally unworthy of its legacy. It’s fallen into the hands of criminal scum.

  52. Sebas said on January 20, 2020 at 5:40 pm
    Reply

    The old opera was great. I remember it was the only one which worked on our daughter’s Windows ME laptop with reasonable speed. That was in about 2005 or so.

    Firefox was unusable slow and IE6 no option re security.
    It did have tabs, and a beautiful lay out. Speed dial and and the e- mail service was excellent.

    I still miss this fantastic browser.

    1. Ben said on January 22, 2020 at 4:32 pm
      Reply

      I feel your loss.

  53. Barry said on January 20, 2020 at 9:25 pm
    Reply

    I like opera browser it works decently, damn shame that it would disappear. Mainland Chinese are notorious for their narcissism, sociopathic tendencies and greed, I asked one Chinese in regards who they deemed squatters of the lands they claimed they owned. He said exterminate all foreign squatters.
    I predicted a year ago, if and when the US no longer sways influence, the Chinese will slaughter the black people if they start rioting.
    I intend to invest in a proper VPN, so the peeping toms in China, NSA, the five eyes and Mossad will not see my online activities.
    Black people in Africa don’t know how to maintain their own countries. Countries run by dictators, bandits and cutthroats. Any foreign aid that they’re countries received, they pocket it.
    Right now, palemoon browser and several other browsers are worth looking into.

  54. syrup said on January 21, 2020 at 3:46 am
    Reply

    Opera has been quite significant for me on mobile as the only browser that can do text reflow, or at least do it well (there was an extension that attempted to add it to Firefox mobile, but didn’t work anywhere near as well as Opera). Funny how that mirrors the situation with me and Opera about 20 years ago, when it was indispensable on the desktop due to another killer feature – tabbed browsing – that only it did, or did well, at the time.

    It’s long been frustrating that I can’t be a paid user of Opera for Android – there’s no way to ‘buy’ a copy, and of course they don’t take donations like Mozilla – so there’s a bit of unease about what the nature of the relationship is and how they’re making money off me.

    Just did a quick search for any alternatives that may have popped up and looks like another browser called Kiwi now has text reflow, so will have to look into that further.

  55. Operator said on January 21, 2020 at 9:02 am
    Reply

    A shame, the mobile one is second to none in features, don’t put your data in it casual browsing greatness. But after all this, too risky to keep it. Now onto a combination of Brave/Kiwi/Samsung depending on the websites…

    1. Mike W. said on January 24, 2020 at 9:28 pm
      Reply

      Kiwi hasn’t been updated since early October. I would hesitate on using it since it likely hasn’t received any security patches recently. Samsung is fine, but I worry about their security as well since the engine that runs the browser is still Chromium 71.

      Brave still has bugs, but at least is updated and secure.

  56. Proxxy said on January 21, 2020 at 4:19 pm
    Reply

    Best browser on the market, it’s a shame that company behind the Opera is involved in dark business. I don’t feel safe anymore with all my passwords stored on Opera servers and using browser for online payments. Sorry for leaving the best browser only because of some chinese businessmans.

  57. 01101001b said on January 22, 2020 at 3:30 am
    Reply

    I still use Opera 12.16 as my mail client. Yep, it was a great browser.

  58. EP said on January 23, 2020 at 1:33 am
    Reply

    Opera is still being developed, Martin, despite what Hindenburg Research says about it

    https://blogs.opera.com/desktop/2020/01/opera-browsers-in-2020-whats-next/

    1. Mike W. said on January 24, 2020 at 4:54 am
      Reply

      Of course they are going to put a positive spin on it. That’s what company’s do when faced with this sort of thing. Until one day the lights are turned “suddenly” off.

      Do you really expect the official blog of the company to admit they are (likely) in trouble due to the actions of their C-suite?

      1. no hype said on May 17, 2020 at 4:20 am
        Reply

        @Mike W.

        Yet many companies also have rather secret agendas to spin negative rumors about their competition and such.

        In the end, we don’t know all that’s going on, yet we are often easily fooled by rumors that may at best
        involve some speculative half truths.

        In the end, there’s big money to made with such speculations, involving insider trading and such, thus I’m very critical about the truthiness of such stock related reports, as well as crazy tweets from folks like Elon Musk and Trump, but I digress.

  59. Jason Boxman said on January 29, 2020 at 9:22 pm
    Reply

    Whether the allegations are true or not, I noticed today that “Opera browser with free VPN” is feeding data into Facebook “Your Off-Facebook Activity”. I’m definitely switching to a different browser. I would never consent to that knowingly. DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials can’t do much about a browser that is itself untrustworthy.

  60. HappyMigrator said on January 30, 2020 at 4:49 pm
    Reply

    INVESTOR ALERT: Kirby McInerney LLP Announces That a Class Action Lawsuit Has Been Filed Against Opera Limited and Encourages Investors to Contact the Firm Before March 24

    https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200124005487/en/INVESTOR-ALERT-Kirby-McInerney-LLP-Announces-Class

  61. BOB555 said on February 14, 2020 at 5:44 pm
    Reply

    After trying most everything out again, I just moved from Opera to Edge. I find that Edge is much like Opera, but better.

    R.I.P. Opera.

  62. urdrwho said on May 1, 2020 at 4:17 pm
    Reply

    CHina! Opera is being removed from the 4 computers in my house. I didn’t know this but right now I sit in quarantine because of China.

    Vivaldi works well and so far they haven’t been bought by the CCP.

    1. papa said on October 14, 2020 at 7:06 pm
      Reply

      exactly I had no idea this spyware was stealing our information

  63. Opera Mini said on July 16, 2020 at 11:13 pm
    Reply

    Opera Mini

  64. papa said on October 14, 2020 at 7:05 pm
    Reply

    I am not happy about the Chinese backers, they are known for their abuses of human rights and lack of data protection, I had no idea and will be uninstalling this spyware

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