A group of Chinese investors sees $1.2 billion worth of potential in the world’s sixth-place Internet browser.
The group, which includes a Chinese private equity firm and two upstart Chinese technology companies, said on Wednesday that it had offered to acquire the Norwegian company behind the Opera web browser. The deal would give the buyers a name that has faded amid intense competition from Google’s Chrome and other browsers but still has a following in the developing world.
The offer is the latest effort by Chinese technology companies to look abroad. One of the partners behind the Opera bid, the mobile-game maker Beijing Kunlun Tech, acquired a 60 percent stake in Grindr, valuing that social networking app for gay men at $155 million. Chinese tech giants like Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings have also made purchases outside their home market in recent years to expand their reach.
Opera, a Norwegian browser developed in the 1990s, gained prominence a decade ago with a browser designed specifically for mobile phones that used compression technology to speed download times. But others have caught up, and Opera — with a 5.5 percent market share — is now the sixth most-used browser behind Chrome, Apple’s Safari, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Firefox and Alibaba’s UCWeb, according to the Internet metrics firm StatCounter.
Source: The New York Times
Published: October 2, 2016