The UC browser has disappeared from the Google Play store. Alibaba’s mobile browser, which had more than 500 million downloads last month and has more than 100 million users in India, is no longer visible in searches, although other applications of UCWeb, UC Browser Mini and UC News they meet.
The development comes several months after the Chinese application was accused of sending personal data from its Indian users to a server in China, and it is not clear for now what is the reason for the withdrawal.
Google Play UC browser removal was detected by users and reported on Tuesday night. The founder of the Android Police Artem Russakovskii also published the text of an email he received from UC Union (affiliated network of UCWeb) that suggests a conflict between Google and UCWeb.
The UC Union e-mail, distributed on November 9, warns partners to abandon “misleading / malicious” advertising used to capture new users.
Twitter user Mike Ross, who claims to work for UC Browser, tweeted that the browser has been “temporarily removed” from the Play Store for 30 days due to the adoption of “misleading” and “unhealthy” methods to increase facilities. We have communicated with Google and UCWeb for clarity and will update this space accordingly.
Currently, the UC browser search on Google Play brings UC Browser Mini, UCWeb’s lightweight mobile browser. However, the official UCWeb site has provided a link to load the UC browser application via its APK file.
In August, some media reports that revealed a probe against the UC browser to send user details and location data to a remote server appeared. The government even decided to ban the browser if the Chinese browser was found guilty.
However, UCWeb has issued a statement guaranteeing the security and privacy of users in their priority. “We have strong measures to encrypt the data while we transmit it,” the company said in an interview with IANS.
Data provided by research firm StatCounter show that UC Browser is the most popular mobile browser in India, surpassing Google Chrome with nearly 50% of the market.
The browser even dominated with a 60% share of the Indian market in the initial phase, but eventually lost some of its land to Chrome.