- Amid the Centre ‘s ban on 59 Chinese applications, Alibaba, China’s biggest e-commerce firm, has shut down UC Browser and UC News operations in India.
Amid the Centre ‘s ban on 59 Chinese applications, Alibaba, China’s biggest e-commerce firm, has shut down UC Browser and UC News operations in India.
The employees working in the company were informed of the decision, and the Gurugram and Mumbai offices were shut down.
UC Browser employees were also told they will be paid for closing the company.
Notably, Alibaba ‘s software UC Browser was after Google’s second most-used application in India. Alibaba is one of the largest e-commerce firms in the world and is owned by Jack Ma.
These apps are “detrimental to India’s sovereignty and independence, protection of India, state security and public order,” the government said.
The ministry said it has received numerous complaints from various sources including several reports on the misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms to steal and surreptitiously transmit data from users to servers with locations outside India.
A story published in the Chinese media Late Post also said UC News will cease its operations and would be merged with Ali Health as well. Notably, the former UCWeb executive Zhu Shunyan, who recently joined Alibaba’s medical service arm, heads Ali Health.
Alibaba operates four entities in India under UC Domain-UC Browser, UC News, VMate, and 9Apps. A year after the launch, UC News reported an 80 million user base in India with a market share of 58 percent. Alibaba also committed to investing Rs 200 Crore in India and Indonesia to drive UC News.
UC News was once a numero uno app in terms of downloads with over 500 million global users and over 130 million active users in India. It’s ranking on Google Play Store, however, slipped out of the top 500 list and there are currently fewer than 500,000 users who open daily UC News.
The list of 59 China-born mobile apps includes, among others, TikTok, SHAREit, US browser, Baidu map, Helo, Mi Group, Club Factory, WeChat, UC News, Weibo, Xender, Meitu, CamScanner, and Clean Master-Cheetah Mobile.