Mobile browser UC Browser has crossed over 400 million monthly active users worldwide, said He Xiaopeng, the head of UCWeb at a mobile internet conference in Beijing, reports Alizila. He also mentioned that the company’s other applications like UC Cleaner etc., have reached a total of over 160 million users.
As of now UC Browser is the second most popular mobile browser in the world with 19.75% market share as per StatCounter, leading Apple’s Safari by 2.3%. Chrome leads the roost worldwide with a dominant 34.2% market share. However, in India, UC Browser is the most popular browser by far with a 58.4% market share, with Opera, the second most popular browser in the country trailing by a fair margin at 16.5% market share. UC Browser had crossed 50% market share in India in November last year.
As of now, the browser claims to have 100 million daily active users, stating that it is available on over 3,000 different models of mobile devices from over 200 manufacturers and in 12 languages, including Hindi. In December 2012, it had claimed to have 40 million users in India and globally and it claimed to have surpassed 500 million quarterly active users in March last year.
Personal data leaks
In May 2015, UC Browser came under some fire after it was reported that it was leaking sensitive user information, making it a privacy risk according to a Canadian technology research group Citizen Lab. The research was prompted by a document leaked by Edward Snowden, mentioning that the Chinese and English editions of the Android version of the browser made user data like location, search details, network operator and even mobile device identifier numbers like the IMEI number easily available to third parties. An Alibaba spokesperson said that they’d fixed the security concerns highlighted by Citizen Lab and updated its users about it.
Acquisition by Alibaba
Alibaba acquired UC Browser parent UCWeb in June 2014. The company previously mentioned in its IPO filing that it owned 66% stake in UCWeb in form of convertible preferred shares, which the company had acquired over several years through several rounds of investments, the last of which was completed in April 2014. UCWeb had earlier setup its second headquarters in India in April 2013, in a bid to push its UC mobile browser among Indian users.