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Opera expands role in China

The Norwegian browser maker teams with a Chinese reseller and revises its browser in an attempt to consolidate its position in the Asian market.

Norwegian browser maker Opera Software on Monday made two moves to consolidate its position in the Asian market, forging a partnership with a Chinese reseller and revising its browser.

Opera said it would team with Redflag Software Technologies, a Linux software distributor in Beijing, which will resell Opera's embedded browser products.

Redflag plans to integrate Opera's browser software into its applications for PDAs (personal digital assistants) and set-top boxes.

The deal with Redflag marks Opera's first arrangement with an Asian reseller. Opera only recently added support for the Unicode Worldwide Character Set, which lets computers render Asian-language characters, among others.

In other Opera news with relevance to the Asian market, Opera released a minor point upgrade to its Windows browser with bug fixes specific to its Asian versions. Opera 6.04 is available for download from the company's Web site.

Opera also said it plans to launch a new Web-based e-mail service in the next few months. The for-fee service will include features unavailable on its current free offering, OperaMail.