UC Browser has reportedly been removed from the Google Play Store.This is owned by Alibaba, the Giant E-commerce China Company. A Twitter user claiming to work on the browser reportedly received an email confirming that the app was “removed from play store for 30 days”.
Both Google and UC Web have yet to comment on the situation.
Reports began to appear early on Wednesday over the sudden removal.
Users on technology forum Reddit said this is quick move. Because UC Browser would serve up ads from its affiliate entities to increase downloads, in violation of Google’s policies.
Mike Ross, who work at UC Browser, tweet: “I work for UC Browser, I receive a mail today morning it said that UC Browser temporarily remove from play store for 30 days. Because it used “Misleading” and “Unhealthy” methods of promotion to increase installs.”
“We were inform by Google Play about temporary removal of UC Browser from the Play Store for 7 days. 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.
A UC Browser spokesperson inform that The new version has been uploaded on Google Play’s Developer Console and is awaiting evaluation. We will actively cooperate with Google Play for any concern caused by this unintentional error,”
The allegations are not new.
Reports review in August that India’s information technology (IT) department reviewing the app after it receive complaints that user data was allegedly send to Chinese entities. And that without the consent of the user even after the app was uninstalle.
The Times of India state that this may face a ban in India if the these are true allegations.
Though Google did not give details behind its move.
A Google spokesperson replied, “We can’t comment on individual apps. But all apps on Google Play must comply with our terms of service,”
UC Browser is the flagship app of UC Web Inc. Which is a part of Alibaba’s Mobile Business Group. which includes products like UC Ads and UC News.
The browser hit 500 million downloads globally. This is fairly popular in India. Where the company claims it has 100 million monthly active users.
According to StatCounter, It had a 45.08% market share in India in October.
Later, the Indian government officials expressed concerns and said to ban the app in the country if found guilty. And most probably, that’s what the government has done by de-listing the application from Google play store.
Reports went viral back in August that UC Browser was trying to steal sensitive user data. Which it then sends to its servers in China without user’s approval. Reports also claimed that UC Browser collects data even after a user uninstalls the app or even cleans the browsing data.
This concerned the Indian government, considering the tension between India and China over the Dokhlam issue.
All said, there’s still no official statement from UC Web or Google regarding the delisting.