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UC Browser delisted from Play Store; here's why the Alibaba-owned company has been taken down

UC Browser has been a prevalent name since the advent of smartphones which stretches back to the days of Symbian operating system.

BT Online | November 16, 2017 | Updated 11:00 IST
UC Browser taken down from Play Store; malicious ads suspected to trigger dismissal

UC Browser has been a prevalent name since the advent of smartphones which stretches back to the days of Symbian operating system. The company is based out of China and is owned by Alibaba group.

Earlier, the UC Web-owned application was accused of sending data from Indian users to its servers in China. However, this latest dismissal doesn't seem to be related to data breach. So far, reports suggest that the app may have flouted a few rules by pushing out malicious ads. 

The UC Browser is one of the most popular browsers in India. Earlier this year, the browser even overtook Google Chrome on the Play Store for a brief amount of time. Out of its 500million downloads, 100 million came from India.

UC Browser has been taken off from Google's Play Store which had over 500 million downloads. The company hasn't come out with an official explaination so far but the browser has been in the news for all the wrong reasons.

Earlier in August, UC Browser was facing allegations of stealing users data and sending it to servers in China. The reports that surfaced even suggested that the data was being collected even after the user has uninstalled the browser.

However, there can be another major reason why UC Web has either forced to take down the application or has voluntarily removed it from Play Store. Android Police founder received a mail from an affiliate for UC Union, the parent company of UC Browser criticizing "any and all misleading/malicious advertising method(s) to procure new users when promoting UC Browser campaigns, such as by using slogan inconsistent with Product functions, or by using inductive slogan."

The affiliate even threatened to stop payment settlement or even recover the losses suffered by UC Union due to the browser. In a few prior instances, affiliates of UC Union have been chided or even taken off by the parent company for using unethical promotional methods and rogue redirect ads. It seems Google has temporarily suspended the application from Play Store.

Another source Mike Ross, a UC Browser employee claimed to receive a mail saying the app has been removed temporarily due to misleading and unhealthy methods. "I work for UC Browser,I got mail today morning it said that UC Browser was temporarily removed from play store for 30 days because it used "Misleading" and "Unhealthy" methods of promotion to increase installs"



However, the UC Browser Mini and UC News are still available on Play Store. The original application has witnessed incredible success in the Indian market mainly due to its compression technology and add-on features that allows the use of third party services. The UC Browser Mini has above 100 million downloads on Play Store.


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