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UCWEB To Invest In Indian Ops; OEM Partnerships

UCwebUCWeb, China based mobile internet and software services company, which plans to invest $170 million (Rs 940 crore) in expanding its global operations, will be deploying a majority of its investment in India to build a mobile internet ecosystem, reports Times of India. In the next three years, UCWEB plans to invest $500 million in the Chinese and global market.

Partnerships with OEM: UCWEB also plans to partner with Indian handset makers to pre-install its browser on their handsets and with international brands like Samsung and LG.

Browser Share: UCWEB claims that at present the company has about 27%  market share of the mobile browsers in India. This is slightly below the market share held by browsers by Opera Software, which holds 30% market share in the country, as indicated by the report.

Earlier in April 2013, the company had setup its headquarters in India in a bid to push its UC mobile browser among Indian users. According to the report, by the end of 2014, 85% of UCWEB India’s 100 employees will be Indians. UCWEB also claims that its browser saw 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.

It has also launched its 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. It also recently launched a 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.

In July 2012, UCWeb had also launched a mobile game store called Game Center with game developers such as Nazara, Indiagames, and Zapak to offer 32 offline games in 10 categories including action, sports, adventure, among others.

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