Chinese company Alibaba's UC Browser has come under government scanner for allegedly leaking mobile data of its Indian users and may be banned in the country if found guilty, a senior IT ministry official said on Tuesday.
"There have been complaints against UC Browser that it sends mobile data of its users in India to servers in China. There are complaints that even if a user has uninstalled it or cleaned browsing data, the browser retains control of Domain Name System (DNS) of user's device," the officer who did not wish to be named told PTI.
UC Browser is a part of Alibaba's mobile business group. Billionaire Jack Ma-run Alibaba has made significant investments in the payment bank firm Paytm and its parent company One97.
Besides Paytm, Alibaba has invested in e-commerce firm Snapdeal as well. UC Browser said it has not received any notice from the government regarding the enquiry.
"It is common practice for IT companies to place servers all around the globe to provide better service to its users. We have strong measures in place to encrypt the data while we transmit it," the China-based firm said.
Last year, UC Browser claimed it has over 100 million monthly active users in India and Indonesia. As per Stat-Counter report at the end of June 2017, UC Browser is the second most used web browser in India after Google Chrome and leads in the mobile phone segment with 48.66 per cent market share.
The probe by the government comes amid escalating tension between India and China. The Ministry of Electronics and IT actively looking at the findings of University of Toronto which has allegedly discovered several major privacy and security vulnerabilities that would seriously expose users of UC Browser to surveillance and other privacy violations. The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, Hyderabad, is also probing the allegation