Opera Limited buys back 20.6% of shares from 360 Security Technology Inc

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 27, 2022

Norwegian company Opera Limited announced that it intents to buy back all of its shares from Chinese company 360 Security Technology Inc. in an all cash transaction. The purchase would move 20.6% of shares from 360 Security Technology Inc. back to Opera Limited.

Opera Limited put up an offer of $128.6 million in cash for the 46.75 million ordinary shares that 360 Security Technology Inc. holds currently. The purchase price equals $5.50 per ADS (American Depositary Share) , as the ordinary shares that 360 Security Technology Inc. holds equal 23.375 million ADS.

Opera Limited representatives have come to an agreement with "its pre-IPO shareholder Qifei International Development Co. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of 360 Security Technology Inc.", to acquire the entire shareholding. The transaction is subject to the approval of "360's shareholders at a shareholder meeting". The meeting is scheduled for October 10, 2022.

Opera Limited develops the Opera web browser and other Internet consumer products. Opera browser, the Opera brand name and other assets associated with the browser were sold to a Chinese consortium in 2016 for $600 million.

Opera Software went public on the NASDAQ stock exchange in 2018. Opera shares trade at $4.08 currently.

360 Security Technology Inc. is a member of a Chinese consortium that purchased the Opera browser and name in 2016. Kunlun Tech Limited and Keeneyes Future Holding Inc held sizable shares of Opera Limited in 2018 as well.

The purchase of more than 20% of stocks gives Opera Limited more control over its own future, if the deal goes through. Privacy advocates criticized Opera Limited for making the initial deal in 2016, fearing that it give Chinese companies too much control over the Opera web browser and data.

We reached out to Opera to find out more about the current shareholder structure, especially in regards to other members of the Chinese consortium, which purchased shares in the company before the IPO in 2018. It is unclear if Opera Limited has the intention to buy back shares from other members of the consortium as well.

Now You: have you tried Opera's browsers recently? What is your take on them?

Opera Limited buys back 20.6% of shares from 360 Security Technology Inc
Article Name
Opera Limited buys back 20.6% of shares from 360 Security Technology Inc
Norwegian company Opera Limited announced the intention to buy back all of its shares from the Chinese company 360 Security Technology Inc.
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  1. Zorba said on October 8, 2022 at 12:55 pm

    Opera was good with Presto Engine. After that is the same as other browsers

    IMO Qutebrowser less leaking that all other.

  2. Balgo said on September 28, 2022 at 4:23 pm

    I have been a chrome user for years because who loves explorer am I right?
    Anywho, I was affraid to use opera because I always been affraid for changes u know.
    I think opera is better than chrome, I love it!

  3. ColonelSchulz said on September 28, 2022 at 3:59 am

    This browser is next level, a lot of free and unique futures, free social media, bar, included, free VPN, crypto websites supported (the only well known browser that support this), free crypto wallet, etc. The only place I don’t use opera, is on my ipad. The only browser that doesn’t work as a layer two on safari, is Brave browser on ios. All of the text about China above is some sort of troll attack.

  4. Vivaldi enjoyer said on September 27, 2022 at 9:42 pm

    The best move opera could do is sell itself for a symbolic euro to Vivaldi (run by opera’s founder), and have vivaldi’s codebase replace opera’s and continue under the opera branding.

    With its its massive install count preserved on desktop and mobile, that’d give brave a serious run for its money.

    1. Lol said on September 28, 2022 at 5:07 pm

      hahaha with vivaldi’s code it would be a slow garbage

    2. enadi said on September 28, 2022 at 12:09 pm

      Sell to vivaldi? Vivialdi’s codebas? Vivaldi was a nice project but 10 years ago!

  5. The Flock said on September 27, 2022 at 7:25 pm

    I used Opera for many many years. When they hopped on the chromium train and became Chinese, I gave up on Opera. This new move won’t change my mind, since manifest V3 is just around the corner and Opera is just another greedy Google-Bitch sheep like the rest. I see no reason for anyone to use Opera ever again. They FUC*ED UP all those years ago and that’s that.

    1. OFFCameraAfter said on September 28, 2022 at 3:56 am

      What kind of browser should we use? Vivaldi?

  6. Tachy said on September 27, 2022 at 5:08 pm

    Funny how Americans (Disclaimer, that includes me) and most others are so against China yet turn over nearly any item in the house and it says “made in china” on the bottom.

    With one face we decry thier dictatorial government and human rights abuses and with the other we reap the benifits of them.

    1. Barfolomew said on September 27, 2022 at 7:29 pm

      Yeah, tell me when you find that component in the iPhone that says “Made in ‘MURICA”.. Nobody cares where the toiletpaper roll-holder is made, but if it’s connected to the internet and Made in China, now that’s another story.

      1. PaulG said on September 28, 2022 at 4:30 pm

        Chinese companies with operations in India will still play a key role in Apple’s plan to make some iPhones in the country. In Chennai, India, the Taiwanese supplier Foxconn, which already manufactures iPhones in factories throughout China, will lead Indian workers’ assembly of the device with support from nearby Chinese suppliers including Lingyi iTech, which has subsidiaries to supply chargers and other components for iPhones.THAT IS ALSO ANOTHER STORY?

    2. Klaas Vaak said on September 27, 2022 at 5:41 pm

      @Tachy: you put your finger on the sore spot of the sanctimonious, hypocritical West. Each and every country that does comply with Washington’s diktat is treated like and enemy and sanctioned to the hilt, if it isn’t regime changed, invaded, or bombed to the Stone Age.

      Countries like China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Nicaragua, North Korea, and others fall into that category.

  7. epsai said on September 27, 2022 at 4:11 pm


    google:”We protect your privacy”
    Apple:”We are for the environment”

    just business, money controls everything.

  8. Anonymous said on September 27, 2022 at 4:07 pm
    1. pearlharbour said on September 28, 2022 at 4:02 am

      These articles were written on the basis of a report by a NASDAQ speculator firm. They wanted to go short. They slandered other companies in the same way. Some Russian oligarch was behind it.

    2. Starck200 said on September 28, 2022 at 3:54 am

      2020?! LOL they withdrew from these companies long ago, and the whole scandal was artificially inflated by some speculator with Russian capital

  9. Mystique said on September 27, 2022 at 3:03 pm

    Honestly I have never been too fond of Opera but at least enjoyed it existence as a competitor in the browser wars when they developed and maintained their own engine. I felt disappointed when they like many crumbled to google’s will and decided to drop their own engine in favor of google’s which essential made them just another Chrome browser.

    I believe Otter is a small project that has been attempting to capture that magic for Opera users from the old days but it has been in development for a long time now and still nowhere on the map.

    Opera Limited appears to have the funding to make a difference here and rebuild their browser to be more privacy focused a unique again but time will tell if that happens but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

  10. pfelelep said on September 27, 2022 at 12:58 pm

    Former Opera fan, now loyal Vivaldi user her, enough said.

    It will take me a long time and persuasive proofs to get me back to Opera.

  11. Iron Heart said on September 27, 2022 at 12:56 pm

    Opera is spyware:

    https://spyware.neocities.org/articles/opera.html (The website tends to be overly paranoid, e.g. a browser having automatic updates is already “spyware” to them, however in this article they raise some good points)



    It’s on my “never recommend to anyone” list along with Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge.

    I know people like to talk about how it is owned by the “Chinese” and rumor has it that 360 Security Technology is close to the China’s government indeed, however I feel like people want to read some actual sources on concrete privacy issues, which I hope to provide with any of the three above sources.

    1. PTCruiser said on September 28, 2022 at 4:38 pm

      I assume you’re a Brave fanboy, a browser which collects telemetry, is based on chrome, had an “accidental” affiliate incident, mines for crypto, and I was able to find the server that collected all of the telemetry, and it said “Error 403 Forbidden, Cache Server” you can watch videos on youtobe that go into more detail, but this is a simple explanation. Even if it wasn’t bad, since it’s based on Chromium, you would be helping Google Chrome’s monopoly.

      I had a bit of a search and I think it might come from this:

      Although open source is often considered to be more secure than proprietary software, but it doesn’t make a software automatically “trusted”. An open source software can still include malicious code. Remember when Brave had URL rewrite code to “inject” their own referral code.

      1. Iron Heart said on September 28, 2022 at 7:35 pm


        And I assume you are a Firefox fanboy, because you are parroting the talking points of their community about Brave, a browser most of them have never used (yet they somehow know everything about it).

        > a browser which collects telemetry

        So does Firefox, and any other mainstream browser I know of. Brave makes it easy to disable telemetry in the settings, it takes literally two clicks – contrary to the 30+ telemetry settings of Firefox, some of which are hidden.

        > mines for crypto

        BAT can’t be “mined”, it is not a proof of work coin. Shows how much you know about it.

        Not every distribution of crypto is “mining”.

        > and I was able to find the server that collected all of the telemetry

        Yep, telemetry has an endpoint server. So does Firefox’s telemetry and that of any other browser. Even if telemetry is enabled, Brave only collects technical data.

        Disabling it is easy, but I suppose it’s even easier to complain about it.

        > Even if it wasn’t bad, since it’s based on Chromium, you would be helping Google Chrome’s monopoly.

        Yeah, instead I should probably switch to Google-funded Firefox according to you, they will surely break the Google monopoly for good, it’s in their business plan. LOL.

        > Brave had URL rewrite code to “inject” their own referral code

        Very creative of you to bring it up again when I’ve already discussed it above, kudos – you have my attention now. Every browser does referrals, at least for search, Firefox injects their own referral for every single Google search you perform, so I guess going by your logic, every single Google search performed with Firefox is malicious and always has been. I am saying this in order to show you your blatant hypocrisy, in case you haven’t noticed.

        Generic (not per-user-generated) referrals are a non-invasive way to fund the browser, I suppose you would prefer it if Brave collected and sold user data instead, at least then you would have one quality talking point about it. It is really annoying, hearing always the same bullshit by uninformed users who don’t know what a referral even is.

    2. Andy Prough said on September 27, 2022 at 4:40 pm

      Opera is very little different than Chrome in its feature set and its fingerprintability. You could extend these same problems to every chromium-based browser – too many features and fingerprintable API’s are introduced too frequently, according to the November 2021 conference paper by Akhavani, Jueckstock, et al – https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-91356-4_9

      If you search the article title, “Browserprint: an Analysis of the Impact of Browser Features on Fingerprintability and Web Privacy”, a PDF version is available online.

      1. Iron Heart said on September 27, 2022 at 4:57 pm

        @Andy Prough

        It’s not a question of whether an API gets introduced or not, the question is also whether or not that API is enabled. Brave, which is what I use, disables all APIs that have no direct effect on web compatibility:



        In the second link, you can see that there are always discussions about whether an API is needed or not, and if it’s needed, how the associated fingerprinting risk can be mitigated.

        Firefox supports a similar amount of APIs including IMHO superfluous ones like VR / Oculus or gamepad (gamepad should be on request only) for example.

        Opera is not overly (read: not at all) concerned with privacy and there are no fingerprinting defenses for anything in the browser, they also leave the same APIs enabled that Chrome leaves enabled for the most part. However, even while this is the case for Opera, you can’t generalize this for all Chromium-based browsers. I agree as far as Opera is concerned.

      2. Satyam said on September 28, 2022 at 7:56 pm

        I don’t know what all this ruckus is about! I mean, I can either pay for start mail or sacrifice my privacy for 15gb of email or Google drive storage for free.

        Or, I can install crypto adware that instead shows me ad for crypto. I fail to see why & how one is better than the other. It’s not like if NSA or FBI is gonna ask to create a backdoor & Brave is gonna disregard that.

      3. Iron Heart said on September 29, 2022 at 1:12 pm


        > Or, I can install crypto adware that instead shows me ad for crypto.

        “Crypto adware”, you mean Brave Rewards? That’s opt-in, buddy.

        Never have I heard so much crying about a feature which is not even enabled by default, and even when enabled, is specifically implemented to be privacy-preserving.

        > It’s not like if NSA or FBI is gonna ask to create a backdoor & Brave is gonna disregard that.

        You mean government backdoors? More likely than not, Brave would inherit such backdoors from the Chromium source code it happens to be based on. That being said, do you believe e.g. Firefox has no backdoors? Firefox would be of interest as the Tor Browser Bundle is based on it, so if you hope to escape “government backdoors” by using it, then good luck. Not buying into this.

        Generally speaking, government backdoors no one of us knows about by definition, are beyond our power. We can only really judge what information the browser developer collects and decide by that.

      4. Anon said on September 27, 2022 at 8:20 pm

        @Iron Heart

        Ah yes let’s trust the guy who created the problems on the internet by creating Javascript, who conveniently makes a browser(Brave) to “combat” the very problems he created. Talking about Brendan Eich btw.

      5. Iron Heart said on September 27, 2022 at 9:17 pm


        > Wikipedia will show you all the scandals that Brave has had

        I am aware of the lousy Wikipedia article and I have researched each of these “scandals”, like really, every single one of them, and found that NONE of them affect my privacy or my rights as a user.
        The referral couldn’t be used for tracking and all other browsers do this as well for monetary reasons, at least for search, and the “donated BAT issue” was never my problem in the first place, but still it got resolved quickly to the satisfaction of all parties… Not sure what you want to tell me here, this is resolved fixed.
        The Tor window issue is the only one related to privacy and this happened due to an involuntary bug related to the implementation of CNAME uncloaking, which is in itself a privacy feature. This also got resolved very quickly upon being reported.

        > I’m starting to think you’re on of those advertisement bots for Brave.

        And I’m starting to think that you have not yet had enough of me exposing your bullshit, you seem to enjoy it and that’s why you try the same old formula again.

        I am not buying into each and every trumped up “scandal” meant to harm Brave without researching it in greater depth and drawing my conclusions from said research, while you are willing to buy into each and every bad news about Brave, whether made up or not, because you dislike the competition. That’s the truth, buddy, which I’m sure you will deny of course.

        Rest assured, if they ever harm my privacy, I WILL call them out on it.

        > created the problems on the internet by creating Javascript

        The problems? Without JS, you would be using a much more primitive web today. But OK.

        There is no light without shadow, perfection is not of this world. Sorry to break this to you.

        PS: Ever like to talk about Firefox’s DNS hijacking or their exfiltration of the browsing history via Cliqz, which were indeed significant privacy breaches? Respond if you are happy to discuss those!

      6. Klaas Vaak said on September 28, 2022 at 6:50 am

        @Iron Heart

        > Respond if you are happy to discuss those!

        You shut him up alright. Not that I would want him to shut up, it would be more interesting if he would be prepared to discuss properly. Unfortunately, that is not the way of some.

      7. Anon said on September 27, 2022 at 8:05 pm

        @Iron Heart the Bravest Fanboy

        Yeah dude a simple search query or a trip to Wikipedia will show you all the scandals that Brave has had and their business model. HINT: Privacy is not their goal.

        I’m starting to think you’re on of those advertisement bots for Brave.

    3. michal said on September 27, 2022 at 3:55 pm

      @Iron Heart
      Just read their privacy statement. Nothing bad there, clearly stated and informative. If they lie there, we should assume every privacy statement is deceiptive (ff, edge, brave, chrome, ff forks, palemoon).

      1. Iron Heart said on September 27, 2022 at 4:34 pm


        > Nothing bad there

        Scroll to the middle of the page, do you see the point “Applications” there? There you need to click on either “Desktop Browsers” or “Mobile Browsers” to read the respective privacy policy of their desktop / mobile browser. What I read there is atrocious, wouldn’t you agree? This is not visible by default unless you click on it.

      2. michal said on September 27, 2022 at 5:49 pm

        @Iron Heart
        Yeah, I did that, at least for desktop. A 10min read, did not find anything atrocious. Well explained what may be collected, why, opt-out options, retention policy. A clear warning that 3rd part applications like FB or extensions have their own policies and Opera has no control over it. One can judge if this policy fits him or not, but I cant see anything really bad. Unless they lie, but if I assume it in this case, then reading contest of any EULA is a wasted time, cause everybody shall be assumed to lie.

      3. Iron Heart said on September 27, 2022 at 7:46 pm

        This is not bad / atrocious? OK, I mean, opinions differ, but I would likely not use it after reading this (from the “Desktop Browsers” section of “Applications”):

        “Personalized Content
        Our browsers may include personalized content features, such as a native newsfeed, or specialty content features such as Shopping Corner. When you interact with these features, we collect some information, such as the articles you read in the newsfeed, and your general location. We use this information to build a profile of your interests, which we use to select more relevant content for you. This information is linked to a randomly generated ID and may be stored on our servers for up to three months. We process this data based on your consent. If you would like to withdraw your consent, you can go to the settings menu and disable personalized content.

        Purpose: Providing a more personalized experience and encouraging user engagement; monetization.”

        Legal Basis: Consent.”


        “Dify Cashback
        Dify Cashback is an incentive program where you can earn rewards when purchasing goods or services from participating online merchants. When you choose to use the Cashback program and visit supported websites, we will collect merchant URLs, a list of your purchased items, transaction amounts, and IP address. This data is required for the Cashback service to function, and we also use it to provide more relevant partner deals, and to detect fraud and misuse of the service. To enable payouts, your Opera account will be linked with a payment service provider, which will share your customer ID, and relevant payment related data with Opera. Your payment data may be stored for up to five years due to regulatory requirements. You can modify your Opera account, delete it, or request a copy of your data using your profile page. Your Dify Cashback data will be automatically deleted after two years of inactivity. You may delete your Cashback account, which will erase your personal data from the system, through the Account Setting menus in Dify Cashback.

        Purpose: To provide and improve the service.

        Legal basis: Contractual grounds, legal compliance.”


        “Usage Statistics
        When you install an Opera application, a random installation ID is generated. We collect this identifier, as well as Machine ID, hardware specifications (model, release date, etc.), operating system, environment configuration, and feature usage data to improve our products and services. For example, we may use it to analyze how our users interact with our applications, or to determine the effectiveness of promotional campaigns, or to detect and debug problems. We have no practical way of using this information to identify you personally. We retain this usage data for up to three years. You can opt out of reporting extended statistics through the settings menu and choosing not to “Help Opera”.

        Purpose: Improving our products.

        Legal basis: Legitimate interest.”


        “Malicious-site Check
        We use a fraud prevention framework (including Google Safe Browsing) to check the URLs you visit against lists of known, malicious websites to protect you online. We do not process any personal data in this context.”

        “Personalized Ads & Profiling
        Based on data such as IP address, hashed user ID, and your general location, some of our Applications serve targeted ads. These ads are provided by our monetization partners. You can always adjust your personalized ad choices in the application’s “Settings” menu or through your operating system’s settings.

        As noted in our End User License Agreements and Terms of Service, our applications are generally provided for free and as such are ad-supported. Collecting this information helps us offset the costs of our business and helps provide a more personalized experience for the user.

        We may also combine this data with other elements – including categories of websites you search and visit, device information (model, release date, device IDs, hardware specifications, operating system, etc.), and categories of ads you have clicked on in our products – to build a better understanding of what our users are interested in. We do not log or store your entire browsing history for this purpose. Instead we simply make a record of whether you have visited certain categories of websites based on the domains of pages you visit and mix it with other data (which might depend on which application you use, and may include page loads, number of SpeedDial clicks, whether you have ad blocker enabled or not, etc.) to make an informed guess about whether you are interested in broad categories of interests (such as sports, gaming, news, etc.). We then add this basic profile to other data, such as your general location (country or city) in order to enable our advertising partners to target their ads to groups of users who might be interested in their products and services. We do not share your personal interests or browsing history with anyone. We retain this data for up to one year after which it is deleted automatically.

        We process this data based on your consent. If you would like to view your options, or to withdraw your consent, please visit the settings menu of the application you are using.

        Purpose: Improving our products and services, monetization.

        Legal Basis: Consent.”


        I don’t know about you, but after reading this, I would stay the hell away from Opera, but perhaps I am just not as adventurous as you are. Behind the corporate speak, this means that they are heavily tracking you.

      4. michal said on September 28, 2022 at 11:19 am

        @Iron Heart
        Thats tracking, true. Please note that you can opt-out from all of these categories.

    4. Aluminum said on September 27, 2022 at 3:54 pm


      Meh. The same guy also says Brave is high level spyware and even worse he thinks Firefox with arkenfox is a private browser.


      1. Iron Heart said on September 27, 2022 at 4:30 pm


        A known Firefox fanboy posts an article that allegedly shows that Brave is spyware, but is there any meat on the bone? Let’s see what he as to criticize about Brave, shall we?

        > Auto-updates

        Only submits your browser version and OS to Brave’s servers, so that the correct update file can be fetched. Also necessary for ongoing security patches, which is why all browsers do it. Not a spy connection.

        > Brave has built-in telemetry

        This only collects technical data, so no personally identifiable information, and it takes 2 clicks to disable in the settings (contrary to FF’s like 30 settings to make sure it’s really disabled). Although telemetry is superfluous, it is not a spy connection.

        > Brave Today

        This fetches news articles for Brave’s news feed for every user in the same way and nothing gets send in return. Can be disabled. Not a spy connection.

        > SafeBrowsing

        Brave proxies this connection to Google (contrary to FF, might I add), so Google remains unaware of your browser installation. Also, this enhances the security of the browser, and can be disabled in the settings. Not a spy connection.

        > Brave Rewards
        > variations.brave.com
        > laptop-updates.brave.com

        Yes, Brave needs to fetch a non-personalized list of ads in order for Brave Rewards to work, if they don’t want to update the browser daily. These ads are not tracking scripts but rather system notifications. Not a spy connection(s). Firefox does something similar for Pocket news articles btw.

        > static1.brave.com

        Every browser needs to fetch certificate updates, how else would HTTPS work? Brave proxies this connection to Google similar to what it does for SafeBrowsing. The comparable Firefox connection is ocsp.digicert.com

        > brave-core-ext.s3.brave.com

        These are updates for e.g. the DRM module or the internal PDF reader, necessary so that commercial streaming services work and for security & rendering updates for the PDF reader for example.


        Spyware Level: Zero

        Paranoia Level: High

        Your ability to question what is written there: Zero

        > Firefox with arkenfox is a private browser.

        The same arkenfox that does nothing against Firefox selling out all your DNS requests to Cloudflare? LOL, OK.

        Also, Firefox without arkenfox is rated as “Spyware level: High” too… _https://spyware.neocities.org/articles/firefox.html_
        You could create a “mitigation guide” for bullshit issues for Brave as well, why would he or I do that though?

        FF has Google Analytics by default, uses Google for geolocation, for SafeBrowsing, transmits everything typed into the address bar to Google if you don’t change the search engine, switches your DNS server to Cloudflare (which not even arkenfox fixes), insane amounts of telemetry compared to any other browser, an open-by-default backdoor that can be used to remote-install whatever into your Firefox profile (FF Experiments), Pocket being integrated with its own, worse privacy policy etc. Great privacy browser you got there.

        Also thanks for giving me an opportunity to show people that every single browser including Brave needs some outside connections to work correctly, none of which have anything to do with spying on you.

      2. Aluminum said on September 28, 2022 at 12:59 am


        >A known Firefox fanboy posts an article that allegedly shows that Brave is spyware, but is there any meat on the bone? Let’s see what he as to criticize about Brave, shall we?

        If we can’t trust what he says about Brave and is a known Firefox fanboy, then how can we trust what he says about Opera? Why did you post his link in the first place if he is not to be trusted?

  12. Anonymous said on September 27, 2022 at 12:28 pm

    They’re certainly not the browser they use to be,years ago I used it but not now.
    All of the social stuff they added I have no need for.

  13. Anon said on September 27, 2022 at 12:20 pm

    I would love to use Opera again, it used to be my favorite browser up until they sold themselves to 360.

  14. Reg Grundy said on September 27, 2022 at 7:24 am

    I wonder if Opera has now just realised the magnitude of selling their soul to 360, when all their former users voted with their feet and left Opera in a distant position in the browser wars?

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