Skip to main content

Opera is now a Chinese company, after $600 million sale

opera sold 600 million chinese consortium power save
Image used with permission by copyright holder
What’s a browser with 10 percent of the mobile market worth? $600 million, apparently. A consortium of Chinese companies led by Qihoo 360 purchased the browser and several other Opera assets, including the company’s name. Qihoo 360 is known in China for its mobile app store and anti-virus software.

Opera, a Norweigan company, tried to sell the entire company to this same consortium for $1.2 billion earlier this year, but that deal was terminated. The new deal sells off huge chunks of the company, Engadget is reporting. The famous Opera browser, both mobile and desktop versions, are part of this sale. So are Opera’s performance and privacy apps, as well as all of Opera’s tech licensing (outside of the Opera TV ecosystem). The Consortium has also acquired the name “Opera.”

What’s left in Norway? Two ecosystems: Opera Apps & Games, and Opera TV. These will continue being owned by the Norwegian company until now called Opera. Because the consortium now owns the name “Opera,” the remaining company has 18 months to rename itself.

It may seem like the company formally known as Opera doesn’t have a lot left, and it’s true that only 560 employees will stay on board out of a total of 1,669. But Opera TV earns $616 million in annual revenue, which actually Opera claims amounts to three quarters of the company’s revenue.

But with or without revenue, the Opera browser has long been the company’s flagship product. First released in 1995, it is the only browser from that era still standing, after Microsoft stopped developing Internet Explorer last year.

Opera’s userbase isn’t huge, but it is loyal. Neglect to mention Opera in a tutorial that mentions “mainstream browsers” and you’ll hear from those users, quickly.

That loyalty was earned, in part, by focusing on performance while also bundling features other browsers left to external software or add-ons. For example, Opera doubled as an email client for much of its early life. Recent editions bundled things like ad blocking, and encrypted VPN service.

Given the Chinese government’s take on VPN services, which protect user privacy but also allow users to bypass government censorship, it’s unclear how long that particular feature will last.

But Opera, at the very least, has new owners who can hopefully give the browser a firm financial footing.

Editors' Recommendations

Justin Pot
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Justin's always had a passion for trying out new software, asking questions, and explaining things – tech journalism is the…
The latest version of Google Chrome is now up to 23% faster
Google Chrome opened on a laptop.

Google has steadily been improving the performance of the Chrome web browser, and you're about to see the biggest jump yet.

Rolling out in Chrome version 91 are some changes that make the browser up to up to 23% faster.

Read more
No, Intel’s Lunar Lake CPUs aren’t being delayed
Intel keynote.

Intel's hotly-anticipated Lunar Lake CPUs look like they're suffering a delay, at least according to a report from DigiTimes. The outlet, which covers semiconductor news, says that shipments of the chips are arriving in September and that they were originally planned for June. Intel says otherwise, however.

When Intel first announced Lunar Lake, it said they would arrive between July and September of this year. More specifically, the company pointed out that they'd be available before the holiday shopping season. If June was the original plan, we'd already have a lot more details about the processors. It looks like September was the target all along.

Read more
Hacker claims to have hit Apple days after hacking AMD
The Apple logo is displayed at the Apple Store June 17, 2015 on Fifth Avenue in New York City

Data breaches happen all the time, but when the giants get hit, it's impossible not to wonder what kind of critical data may become exposed. Earlier this week, notorious cybercriminal Intelbroker reported that they managed to hack AMD. Now, they followed up with claims about hacking Apple, and went as far as to share some internal source code on a hacking forum.

As Apple has yet to comment, all we have to go off is the forum post, first shared by HackManac on X (formerly Twitter). In the post, Intelbroker states that Apple suffered a data breach that led to the exposure of the source code for some of its internal tools. The tools include AppleConnect-SSO, Apple-HWE-Confluence-Advanced. There's been no mention of any customer data being leaked, which is good news, but there could still be some impact on Apple if this proves to be true.

Read more