back to article China-owned Opera touts big comeback

Opera released an overhaul of its browser today, and claims to have grown its market share substantially in the year since it was acquired by a Chinese private equity company a year ago. Monthly active users have increased 25 per cent in 2017, Opera says, with the UK 50 per cent up year-on-year. The browser received a makeover …

  1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

    State enterprise

    "The Group is focused on investments in China, Russia and other countries and regions of 'One belt, One Road' area to maximize return for investors and meanwhile dedicate to the national strategy and economic development"

    In other words, it's an arm of the state. One belt, One Road is a vehicle for Chinese expansionism.

    1. Blotto
      Black Helicopters

      Re: State enterprise

      @Missing Semicolon

      In other words, it's an arm of the state. One belt, One Road is a vehicle for Chinese expansionism.

      what is there a problem with that? the US have been doing the same for decades but now we have a choice to go with the Chinese.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: State enterprise

        what is there a problem with that? the US have been doing the same for decades but now we have a choice to go with the Chinese.

        Depends who you are.

        If you work in Western government, military, strategically important, or IP-rich sectors, then it's probably best to avoid Chinese or Russian software. If the Yanks want your data, they've already got it, and to an extent the UK government won't care. But if you don't trust the software not to bleat your details to its parent company and host nation, then probably better to avoid obvious opportunities to help our (official) enemies. At an individual level, this personal data isn't of much economic or political value, but it can still give useful information to foreign intelligence services.

        Consider my Chinese brand Android phone. Seems distinctly feasible it will be back-doored for the PLA, if only in the first instance because of the home market they want to eavesdrop on. Now think if it were your phone, and you were employed at GCHQ (Faslane, Aldermaston etc....take your pick), the PLA would be able to work out a high probability as to which users of back-doored phones showed a regular pattern of travel to that part of Gloucester - and turning off the GPS means nothing for a back-doored device. Even if you turn the device off on the way to work, that of itself creates a pattern that can be tracked. Then there's all your "life" data that may be on your phone - contacts, logins, browsing and travel history. With a desktop web browser, a nice back-door means they could use what can be gleaned about the user to line them up for a spot of spear-phishing (or if the browsing history is sufficiently troublesome, for blackmail). Or they may find that the user has a lot of legitimate but extreme political or social sympathies that makes them vulnerable to attempts to recruit them (they may not even know the real power they would be working for, so not limited to communists).

        Of course, with 17,500 employees of MoD happily spewing their details on LinkedIn, maybe the Chinese and Russians don't need to work too hard on back-dooring anything?

      2. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: State enterprise

        The USA has been doing it for about 150 years, and before that Britain was doing it for several hundred years.

    2. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge

      Re: State enterprise

      Anything based on Chrone is based on Spyware. You knew that going in.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: State enterprise

        Think you'll find Chrome is in fact based upon Chromium. Google just added stuff to it and called it Chrome.

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      dedicate to the national strategy and economic development

      Imagine if our government had a national strategy of economic development

  2. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    I use it every day, but...

    ... it's STILL not as good as version 12...

  3. AMBxx Silver badge
    Big Brother

    No thanks

    Chinese owned, Facebook and WhatsApp integrated? Who isn't receiving your browsing data?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: No thanks

      It's handy on mobile because it strips all the js crap and their proxy compresses the data - so I only use it to check how late the train is running.

      It is possible that the data on train arrival times is being used by the PLA - possibly as a source of random numbers

    2. Chemical Bob

      Re: No thanks

      "Who isn't receiving your browsing data?"

      Me. I am not receiving your browsing data. Sadly, I am the only one not receiving it...

  4. YARR

    This Opera's not over 'til...

    ... xie phan li dai zhang.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wouldn't use Opera, as I don't trust the Chinese. That's why I use Yandex browser, Yandex e-mail, and Kaspersky AV. Safe as houses.

  6. DainB Bronze badge

    VPN woes

    Opera has feature they call VPN which is really a proxy, but couple of months back they set their proxies to reset connections after 10 seconds. That eliminated the only reason to use it.

  7. Captain DaFt

    "The browser received a makeover in February and now integrates Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp in the sidebar."

    Nope. Nope nope nope!

    Browser dudes, please quit adding crap, just make the browser browse better with fewer bugs!

    Geez, is there a browser out anymore that just browses?

    Websites! I mean browsing websites! I don't mean browsing my data to "enhance my user experience"!

  8. Bela Lubkin

    FB and WTF aren't actually particularly 'integrated', they just provide a place where their respective chat things *can* lurk if you so choose. I don't.

    The entire spectrum of Chrome extensions are usable on current releases of Opera.

    I switched to it from Firefox about 2 years ago, have been reasonably satisfied since then. I have up-to-date FF and Chrome available as well, poke around with each from time to time, return to Opera without regret.

  9. Mr Dogshit


    Does anyone know whether the "phone home to Google" feature has been removed from Vivaldi yet?

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