Kaylene Hong was Asia Reporter for The Next Web between 2013 and 2014, based in Singapore. She is bilingual in English and Mandarin. Stay in Kaylene Hong was Asia Reporter for The Next Web between 2013 and 2014, based in Singapore. She is bilingual in English and Mandarin. Stay in touch via Twitter or Google+.
Norwegian browser software company Opera has opened a regional head office in Singapore today as it seeks to extend its reach in the Asia-Pacific region with a focus on developing its advertising business.
Opera already has a presence in Asia — with offices in China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan — but the new Singapore office will be home to its operator and advertising business, technical support, and marketing activities across the region.
Citing the increasing amount of time people spend online via their mobile phones, and given the large number of mobile-only consumers in Southeast Asian countries (such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam), Opera says the mandate of the new base is working with operators and advertisers to help them reach more mobile Internet users.
Fabrizio Caruso, Opera’s Senior Vice President for Asia will head up the Singapore presence, and he explains: “We plan to use our Singapore office as a hub to fuel the mobile Internet and advertising economy in APAC.”
Opera’s plan isn’t altogether surprising for many reasons. Chiefly because Singapore is widely recognized as a hub for Southeast Asia, it is already home to many international tech firms, including Facebook, Twitter, Google, Airbnb and Uber.
This year Opera consolidated its advertising business after combining the various units it has acquired in recent years to create Opera Mediaworks, a fully-owned subsidiary, that it says is the world’s largest mobile ad platform. More than advertising, Opera is interested in the business of getting new Internet users on to the Web, and few regions are bursting at the seams like Asia.
The company says it has already partnered with 17 mobile operators in Asia to roll out co-branded Opera Mini browsers coupled with data plans, in a bid to bring more people online through their mobile phones.
Earlier this month, Opera also announced a new version of its Opera Mini browser, targeted at the low-end mobile phone sector and that is likely to be among the services that it places greater emphasis on in Asia-Pacific.
With the opening of the Singapore office, Opera now has a total of 17 offices around the world, which house more than 900 employees.
Headline image via Opera
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