Introducing Oupeng, a Chinese Opera

Today we launched Oupeng, a joint venture with Telling Telecom, China’s top mobile phone distributor. Oupeng is Opera Mini that, along with all the usual features of Opera Mini, has two additional features.

There is a portal pulling together various news sources: we have a server cluster for processing/ datamining microblog content and we use machine intelligence to rank top news into different categories for Chinese users. Also, there is a Weibo client (according to Wikipedia, Weibo is "a hybrid of Twitter and Facebook, it is one of the most popular sites in China … [with] more than 195 million users").

Oupeng browser is Opera Mini, with the familiar big 'O' logo. We've given it a Chinese name, Oupeng (欧朋), which means "friends from Europe" because most Chinese users find the word "Opera" hard to pronounce or spell. And because we're friendly. And from Europe.

The User Agent string is "Opera/9.80 (Android; Opera Mini/6.1.25764/25.718; U; zh) Presto/2.5.25 Version 10.54". Replace "Android" with the platform it's actually on, of course! Note that this is identical to non-Oupeng versions of Opera Mini.

The browser itself has some UI customisations. There is an exit button. More excitingly, instead of the familiar 9 speed dial entries, there will be 27 speed dials, which can be increased up to 63. (If you think typing on a virtual keyboard is a pain in English, try it with Chinese characters!)

For those developers who are interested in user numbers, Opera Software is the world’s leading mobile browser provider, with more than 130 million people using Opera on their phone every month. Telling Telecom is China’s top mobile phone distributor, shipping more than 30 million handsets in 2010 alone. That's a lot of handsets and a lot of Opera.

Developing for mobile browsers is covered in Mobile-friendly: The mobile web optimization guide; specific optimisations for Oupeng and Opera Mini information can be found in Opera Mini web content authoring guidelines.