The Fall of Opera?

I’m quite paranoid. It IS in my job description after all. So while I was testing something the other day I received a warning about the Opera browser. Now, don’t get me wrong, there haven’t been any privacy concerns found or breaches at this time, but…

Opera. The forgotten browser. Well, maybe in the United states. Both the mobile and desktop browser are still used in other parts of the world a lot. I’m not sure of the motivation. But it is a fast and reliable browser based on Chromium. Yeah, another Chromium browser. But it isn’t bad, once you get used to the interface.

Well, In November 2016, the original Norwegian owner of Opera sold his stake in the business to a Chinese consortium under the name Golden Brick Capital Private Equity Fund I Limited Partnership for $600 million. Lets break that down, shall we? Most shares in Opera were purchased by Kunlun Tech and Qihoo 360, backed by Golden Brick Silk Road and Yonglian investment firms. Kunlun Tech is a gaming company that bought a majority stake in gay dating app Grindr in January, while Qihoo is an antivirus and browser maker. Ties to the Chinese government are not detailed, but they ARE there.

After the recent privacy issues that were brought up against Chinese companies like Huawei, and the known issues that have been found in the past… Yeah. Some time ago, Deepin Linux was accused of some… privacy concerns. Linuxinsider details what happened here in an article released back in May of 2019. “Given that several governments — including the U.S. — have concerns with Android-based mobile phone products made by Huawei, should related security concerns extend to Deepin Linux?”

I think so. While I love the look of Deepin, the desktop environment, not the distro itself, I won’t run it at this time. I’ll stick to XFCE, thanks.

Since the buyout and the publicity, Opera has fallen to the bottom of the browser war, to only 2.28 percent of the market share, and it seems to be dropping. How much of this is just dislike of the product, and how much is distrust of China?

I’ll stick to Firefox.