Alibaba’s UC Browser Goes Kaput from Play Store, But Why? 

The popular mobile web browser owned by Alibaba has been in the spotlight with respect to sharing user data. 

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Tech News
3 min read
UC Browser has the beating of Google Chrome in India. 
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Popular mobile web browser UC Browser, owned by Alibaba, has reportedly been removed from the Google Play Store. UC Browser, according to the latest market data, is the leading mobile web browser in India, with over 45 percent market share, beating Google’s Chrome browser as well.

Also Read: Alibaba’s UC Browser Under Govt Scanner over Data Leaks

The disappearance of the UC Browser app was first reported by Redditors, and then global publications like Android Authority brought it to our notice. UC Browser has informed that the app was removed due after it was flouting Google’s policy.

However, UC Browser told The Quint that the removal is just temporary.

We were informed by Google Play about temporary removal of UC Browser from the Play Store for 7 days, beginning 13 Nov 2017, under the reason that a certain setting of UC Browser is not in line with Google’s policy. We have conducted an urgent internal investigation and fixed the problem. The new version has been uploaded on Google Play’s Developer Console and is awaiting evaluation. UC Browser new product package will be back on Google Play next week and, in the interim, users and partners can download the product from our website 
UC Browser team

Interestingly, they haven’t stated the setting which had caused the removal of the app in the first place. The revised version of the app has been sent to Google and could make its way back to the Play Store by next week.

At the time of filing this copy, the mini version of UC Browser app for mobile was still available on the Play Store.

UC Browser Mini is still there on the Play Store. 
UC Browser Mini is still there on the Play Store. 
(Photo Courtesy: Google Play Store)

And as we had told you before, you can still download the APK file for the UC Browser from its main website.

The APK file of UC Browser is stil available on the website. 
The APK file of UC Browser is stil available on the website. 
(Photo Courtesy: UC Browser)

A The Times of India report recently also alleged that the Indian government had issued a notice to UC Browser to explain the concerns of data sharing, to which the China-based company simply claimed they take security and privacy very seriously, and work hard to comply with local regulations.

It was also said that if the concerns were found to be true, then UC Browser will be banned in the country. Now that UC Browser has shared its position, we wait to see what Google has to say on the matter.

What Reports Say

The statement from UC Browser doesn’t give us the whole picture, but the information shared by Mike Ross on Twitter, who claims to work for the Alibaba-owned mobile web browser, definitely needs some answering by the Alibaba-owned brand.

Look at the big gap between market share of UC Browser and Google Chrome. 
Look at the big gap between market share of UC Browser and Google Chrome. 
(Photo Courtesy: Statcounter)

Any mishaps for UC Browser could lead to a drop in number of its users in the country. With over 100 million users claimed to be using the browser, any controversy could hit their user base share pretty hard.

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