UC Browser, a popular browser from Alibaba in India, has been temporarily removed from the Play Store. The app had over 500 million downloads, with over 100 million users of the app from India itself. The browser even came pre-installed on many Android devices sold in the country.
UC Browser is popular for its fast and smooth browsing experience and low resource usage which particularly makes it ideal for use in low to mid-range devices. However, over the last year or so, the browser had become more of a malware due to its affiliates using shady tricks like redirect ads to promote download of other UC apps. While there has been no official announcement from Google or Alibaba/UC Union over the removal of UC Browser from the Play Store, the likely reason behind the browser’s removal stems from the shady behaviour of affiliates themselves.
UC Union had also sent out emails to its affiliates over the last week warning them of not using shady marketing tactics to gain new users and increase downloads of the browser. This is further corroborated by a tweet from a from a person who seemingly works for UC Browser.
I work for UC Browser,I got mail today morning it said that UC Browser was temporarily removed from play store for 30 days because it used "Misleading" and "Unhealthy" methods of promotion to increase installs
— Mike Ross (@SKz_14) November 14, 2017
UC Mini, a lighter and toned down version of UC Browser, continues to be available on the Play Store for now.
Considering how UC Browser was primarily used by its affiliates for shady marketing tricks to get unsuspecting users to download fake anti-virus apps and other malicious apps, this was a much-needed move from Google.
Have you used UC Browser on your Android device? How was your experience with it?