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Author Topic: Chinese Group Bids $1.2 Billion for Company Behind Opera Web Browser  (Read 2609 times)

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Offline perknh

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Chinese Group Bids $1.2 Billion for Company Behind Opera Web Browser

By AMIE TSANG and PAUL MOZURFEB. 10, 2016 for the New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/11/business/dealbook/china-opera-kunlun-qihoo-golden-brick.html



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Online VinDSL

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Re: Chinese Group Bids $1.2 Billion for Company Behind Opera Web Browser
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2016, 05:56:54 pm »
Chinese Opera ?!?!?


Offline perknh

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Re: Chinese Group Bids $1.2 Billion for Company Behind Opera Web Browser
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2016, 06:30:03 pm »
Yes, VinDSL, it appears there may well be a very bright future for Chinese Opera! ;D

Quote
Opera’s board has unanimously decided to recommend that shareholders accept the offer. --Amie Tsang and Paul Mozur

Take a look at the locations of the markets where Opera browser does well:

Quote
Opera has pockets of strength in some fast-growing Internet markets. It is the top browser in Africa, according to StatCounter, and it is the third most popular in Russia and India and the fourth in Indonesia. --Amie Tsang and Paul Mozur

I say this is a smart move for this private equity firm from Hong Kong. 
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Offline 10i

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Re: Chinese Group Bids $1.2 Billion for Company Behind Opera Web Browser
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2016, 10:55:00 am »
I would sell my company for that much money

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Offline perknh

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Re: Chinese Group Bids $1.2 Billion for Company Behind Opera Web Browser
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2016, 05:41:18 pm »
It sure is a lot of money, 10i, but I think, if this purchase goes through, it will be a smart investment for this group of Chinese companies that are seeking to acquire Opera.  I know I'm going to keep my Opera browser up and running.  I'm curious to see how development will go with it.  I'm also curious whether or not Maxthon is one of the companies that is in on the deal.  I haven't seen Maxthon's name mentioned once after reading about this probable upcoming acquisition.

What A Chinese Purchase Of Opera Software Could Mean For Africa

By Dana Sanchez for AFKInsider

http://afkinsider.com/119515/what-a-chinese-purchase-of-opera-software-could-mean-for-africa/
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Offline scifidude79

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Re: Chinese Group Bids $1.2 Billion for Company Behind Opera Web Browser
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2016, 11:24:50 pm »
I'd be dancing all the way to the bank for that kind of cheddar.  I wouldn't even care who the buyer was.  ;)

Offline perknh

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Re: Chinese Group Bids $1.2 Billion for Company Behind Opera Web Browser
« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2016, 06:05:38 pm »
I'd be dancing all the way to the bank for that kind of cheddar.  I wouldn't even care who the buyer was.  ;)

And apparently Opera needs to makes some changes to its browser to earn that cheddar. ;D 

My fear, personally, is that with this sale may come a new privacy policy.  It's no secret that President Xi Jinping* has said that all software in China should have a back door to government surveillance.  Like the other Scandinavian countries, Norway has been known internationally to be mindful of privacy issues.  Perhaps its a coincidence (or maybe my memory is wrong here), but I watched development for Maxthon for Linux grind to a halt around the same time China's president made that announcement --yes, you can still get Maxthon for Linux, but it is no longer supported.

Anyway changes will be taking place to Opera browser before its sale, and the changes stated here all sound pretty harmless.

Opera Working on New Desktop Browser Amid Company Sale

by Ina Fried for <re/code>

https://recode.net/2016/02/23/opera-working-on-new-desktop-browser-amid-company-sale/

* Honestly, I give President Xi Jinping credit for being upfront and honest about this.  Personally I feel the entire world's digital security is enhanced by fewer backdoors and not more of them.  But that's just my opinion. 
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Offline scifidude79

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Re: Chinese Group Bids $1.2 Billion for Company Behind Opera Web Browser
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2016, 10:28:46 am »
My fear, personally, is that with this sale may come a new privacy policy.  It's no secret that President Xi Jinping* has said that all software in China should have a back door to government surveillance.  Like the other Scandinavian countries, Norway has been known internationally to be mindful of privacy issues.  Perhaps its a coincidence (or maybe my memory is wrong here), but I watched development for Maxthon for Linux grind to a halt around the same time China's president made that announcement --yes, you can still get Maxthon for Linux, but it is no longer supported.

That's been my biggest concern as well.  I don't want to offend anybody Chinese who uses Peppermint and frequents here, but the Chinese government isn't known historically for respecting the privacy rights of its citizens.  I would say that having such a back door would be illegal in other countries, but nobody seems to be batting an eyelash when companies like Apple and Microsoft blatantly collect all kinds of data on their users.

Though, I did have an interesting thought on this.  Windows 10 users would be doubly screwed.  Windows already collects all kinds of data on them and sends it back to Microsoft, who does whatever they want with it.  (hey, they signed the EULA)  It's probably going back to the FBI, NSA, or some other US government agency.  So, if they had Chinese Opera installed on Windows 10, I guess they'd have two governments spying on them.   :o

Offline perknh

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Re: Chinese Group Bids $1.2 Billion for Company Behind Opera Web Browser
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2016, 04:05:16 pm »
Windows already collects all kinds of data on them and sends it back to Microsoft, who does whatever they want with it.  (hey, they signed the EULA)  It's probably going back to the FBI, NSA, or some other US government agency.  So, if they had Chinese Opera installed on Windows 10, I guess they'd have two governments spying on them.   :o

Good one! ;D

I'm wondering how this would work.  Would Opera have to accommodate itself to the privacy policies of the country in which the user is using the device?  Or would all data from devices worldwide eventually call home, in some form at least, say like to Beijing?  It sounds ludicrous, really, but I imagine Google or Microsoft can already do this to a great degree.  So, why wouldn't another powerful state government do this too --especially since we know ours does? :-\

Right now, Opera has satellite offices in many diverse countries:

http://www.operasoftware.com/company/contact

I hope our personal data will not be observed and diverted elsewhere.  When a user sees the green padlock, he or she needs to have confidence that his or her Amazon purchase is secure.  When a user uses DuckDuckGo, he or she needs to have confidence that DuckDuckGo is doing its job.  I'm going to read Opera's privacy policy when it changes hands.  For me, I want to continue to see the first sentence of Opera's privacy policy that Opera has right now: "General: No personal identifiable information is collected."  These are the words I need to see in the privacy policy of a browser I am using. ;)


This is Opera's Privacy Policy right now.

Spoiler (click here to view / hide)
Privacy and personal information

General: No personal identifiable information is collected. Your installation of Opera browser contains a unique ID that can not be linked to you as an individual person. This unique ID is required for auto-updates of the software and any installed extensions. Data about the features (not websites) used in Opera browser is collected with the purpose to improve the software and services. The software also creates a unique ID that is linked to your computer. This unique ID is processed with the sole purpose to measure marketing campaigns and distribution partners. Any crash logs sent by Opera browser will include the version number of the software, information about the operating system and some information about your computer (CPU, RAM and similar). This information is collected with the sole purpose to improve the software or the services. Crash logs are automatically sent by default.  To disable this feature select Opera > Preferences and untick “Automatically send crash reports to Opera”. Opera’s privacy policy located at http://www.opera.com/privacy (“Privacy Policy”) is incorporated by reference.

Opera Turbo is a web browsing service relying on web content being compressed on Opera proxy and video compression servers and then sent to the software installed on your device. Opera is not able to link usage related data in Opera proxy servers to individual persons. Opera proxy servers log in addition to the web addresses (not content of the web pages), IP-addresses, Operating system, any campaign reference for the software and a randomly generated identifier for the software. Opera stores and processes usage related log data to provide, debug, maintain, and optimize the service. Opera server logs are kept for up to six months. Usage-related log data is also used to generate aggregated and anonymized statistics for Opera’s own use and for reporting usage to Opera’s customers.

Discover: Opera is not able to link any usage related data to individual persons.  The service collects the web addresses (not content of the webpages), IP-addresses, the end-user device make and model, and a randomly generated identifier for the software. Opera stores and processes usage related log data to provide, debug, maintain and optimize the service. Opera server logs are kept for up to six months. Usage related log data are also used to generate aggregated and anonymized statistics for Opera’s own use, and for reporting usage to Opera’s customers.

Synchronization: Opera allows you to enable synchronization of browser data such as your speed dials between Opera browsers on the devices you are using, by logging in using Facebook, Google, Twitter or by creating an Opera account. Opera collects data submitted by you, and your name, username, email address and language if provided by the social service you use to login. The data is processed with the sole purpose to enable synchronization of browser data, including debugging, improvements and optimization. Data received for a social service may be retained for up to six months after you stopped using the synchronization feature. The data in your Opera account can be modified and deleted with the tools we provide.

Built-in web search: The software has a built-in, web search feature. This gives you the option to utilize external web search engines directly from the browser interface. Opera relies on third parties for this service. The software sends the your search requests (in a specially designed URL string) directly to third-party websites that handle the actual search queries. What is sent to the third-party site is the special search string along with the text terms needed to perform the particular search query. No personal information is sent.

Some third-party sites may monitor data traffic from the software, such as numbers of hits and the search terms used. No personally identifiable information is made available to these services by the software, and not by Opera. Please note: Opera does not control the privacy and security practices and policies of these third parties and their sites. Check the particular site and/or business for more information. It is your responsibility to use caution before sharing personal information via forms and other methods used by third parties and their websites.

Opera reserves the right to disclose any information we have as required by law and when we believe that disclosure is necessary to protect our rights and/or comply with a judicial proceeding, court order, or legal process. Opera restricts internal access to data that is not aggregated or further anonymized, exclusively to those who need it for the operation of the services. Information may be stored outside of the country in which the user resides, and user hereby consents to such storage and transfer of information between jurisdictions. Any updates or changes to these privacy provisions will be included in Opera’s Privacy Policy available at http://www.opera.com/privacy/.

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« Last Edit: March 14, 2016, 06:35:08 pm by perknh »
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Offline perknh

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Re: Chinese Group Bids $1.2 Billion for Company Behind Opera Web Browser
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2016, 10:55:40 pm »
Opera fires up new browser as engine of change
The Norwegian company thinks it's time for fresh ideas for Web browsers. Later this year it'll reveal an attempt to make them adaptable and intelligent.
by Stephen Shankland for c|net Mobile World Congress

http://www.cnet.com/news/opera-software-new-browser-due-2016-chrome-firefox-safari/
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Offline scifidude79

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Re: Chinese Group Bids $1.2 Billion for Company Behind Opera Web Browser
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2016, 11:01:19 pm »
Meh, I like my browser pretty basic, with as few bells and whistles as possible.  Things like a pop up blocker keep us sane, but I see no need for a browser to "adapt to" what I'm viewing.  Just display it.

Offline perknh

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Re: Chinese Group Bids $1.2 Billion for Company Behind Opera Web Browser
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2016, 09:20:05 am »
Yes, it sounds like it's adding more features for it Windows users in China.  I've seen this happen before with Maxthon (for Windows).  It ended up with too many bells and whistles for my taste.  >:(

This is how Opera is pitching this --with a comment area:

#StillYourOpera for computers
http://www.opera.com/blogs/desktop/2016/02/stillyouropera-for-computers/

Two threads from Opera forum concerning this purchase:

1)  Please do not accept the investments from 360 firm.

http://forums.opera.com/discussion/1871209/please-do-not-accept-the-investments-from-360-firm-

2)  Opera Sold (I don't believe the sale has actually gone through yet.)

http://forums.opera.com/discussion/1870807/opera-sold

The gist of all these comments from Opera's blog, and the two threads from the forum, is that this sale does not sound good for Opera users who are concerned about their privacy.

I go back years with Opera.  I love the ability to stack thumbnails, tab preview, and personalize the background theme.  This saddens me. :( 



 
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Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Chinese Group Bids $1.2 Billion for Company Behind Opera Web Browser
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2016, 09:21:10 am »
Not really seeing it myself either

Quote from: Chief Executive Lars Boilesen
"I want to add more smart features," with a browser that recognizes whether you're reading news, checking email, or social networking, then adapts to suit the task, Boilesen said. For example, "if you're shopping, you could get recommendations on the side. We're trying to predict that."

Web pages already adapt the browser to suit the task .. a news page already looks completely different to a webmail page, which are laid out differently to social media sites....

Something tells me it's his last example that's the one behind this ;)

[EDIT]

I've never been an Opera fan, I *want* to like it and see another choice .. but to me they've always seemed to over think then over feature and overcomplicate their browser .. the days of "suites" and over reach are long over.
(lot of "over" in that sentence eh ? .. maybe it says something .. erm, over and out)
« Last Edit: March 07, 2016, 09:28:48 am by PCNetSpec »
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Offline perknh

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Re: Chinese Group Bids $1.2 Billion for Company Behind Opera Web Browser
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2016, 10:43:51 am »
It's clear to me that Opera is being modified for the Chinese market.  Commercialism is promoted in China:  Freedom of thought, and freedom of expression, are not.  I doubt that personal privacy concerns will rank high on the new Opera owners' list of priorities.

Opera could have probably remained viable in the West if Opera had changed its priorities years ago.  Yes, there was too much junk in the Presto-based browser of yesteryear. And, believe it or not, you still can't add Peppermint as a default search engine in Opera 35, and you still can't modify the settings without a special finger key combination to become a superuser.  :-\  Also, you'd think there should be no compatibility problems between Gmail and Opera, but I've found if I need to change languages, the yellow highlights for spell checker freeze permanently into the final copy --even after it's mailed.  Fortunately, this does not happen if I stick with English, and English alone --which is what I do most of the time.

These are the things I wish Opera would have fixed.  Then maybe Opera would have become more of mainstream browser in the West.  It still is a gorgeous browser, and very well-named.


Update:  9 March 2016

This article gives us a better idea of how this acquisition occurred, and what the future plans for Opera may be.  In regards to what PCNetSpec said in an earlier post, all I can say is that I hope Opera doesn't become a "suite" style browser.  That would be dreadful.

Opera CEO: Sale To Chinese Consortium Wasn’t Our Decision

by Frederic Lardinois for TechCrunch

http://techcrunch.com/2016/02/25/opera-ceo-sale-to-chinese-consortium-wasnt-our-decision/
« Last Edit: March 09, 2016, 05:09:42 pm by perknh »
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