UCWeb, China based mobile internet and software services company has setup its second headquarters in India in a bid to push its UC mobile browser among Indian users.
The company informed that it will focus on video and download features which will apparently act as a differentiator factor from its competitors. It claims to have 25% market share in India, up from 20% market share in September 2012. We have asked UCWeb for an interaction on this and will update the article once we get a response from them.
New UC Browser: Along with this announcement, UCWeb has also launched new versions of its UC browsers for Android (v9.0), Java (v9.0) and iPad (v2.0). The Android version brings in an improved interface, ability to watch videos offline, incognito browsing, ad blocking and various customization features like themes and wallpapers, while the Java version brings in improved interface, ability to save account details and integration to UCWeb’s free online storage service UDisk. Through this service, the company said that it will be offering users 2GB permanent storage space for free and 4GB temporary storage space for 7 days.
They have also launched their browsers in Hindi and Urdu with the intent to capture the market in tier-II cities. Previously, only the Java version of their browser was available in Hindi. UCWeb also has local partnerships with Network 18, Cricbuzz, Olx.in, among others.
Earlier, in September 2012, Kenny Ye, MD of UCWeb India had informed Medianama that their user base was close to 30 million which is 20% of the market share. However, Opera was still leading the mobile browser market back then. He had also mentioned that since the company is VC funded, they did not intend to focus on monetisation. With the opening of their second headquarters in India, we wonder if their thoughts on monetisation have changed.
UCBrowser also claims to have 60x growth in three years since its launch in 2011 in India and with its current claim of over 200 partnerships in India, it seems that UCWeb is looking at a content push strategy along with market specific product features to expand its presence in India.
In July 2012, UCWeb had also launched a mobile game store called Game Centre with game developers such as Nazara, Indiagames, and Zapak to offer 32 offline games in 10 categories including action, sports, adventure, among others.