UC Browser
UC Browser app disappears from the Google Play Store.International Business Times, India

After it was taken down from Google Play Store for more than a week, Alibaba-owned content aggregation platform UCWeb said on November 22 that a new version of its UC Browser app is now available for download on Google Play.

UC Browser, which briefly overtook Chrome to become the most popular mobile browser in India, was removed from Google Play Store last week for allegedly promoting some misleading ads which were not in line with Google's policy. The problem has since been rectified in the latest version that is currently up and running on Google Play.

The company released a statement saying that the new version is now available for users with updated technical settings which are strictly in line with Google Play's policy.

"During the brief absence of UC Browser on Play Store, we continued to meticulously check our technical settings while also witnessing an uninterrupted passion of our users for the product, who looked upon the alternative version, UC Browser Mini, and made it to top the 'Free Apps' category on the Play Store," said Young Li, head,International Business Department at Alibaba Mobile Business Group. 

With a user base share of 45 percent (as per Statcounter), and more than 100 million active monthly users, UC Browser has become the most popular browser in India in terms of Internet usage on mobile platform, followed by Google Chrome, the company claimed.

UC Browser has crossed 500 million worldwide downloads on Google Play Store as of October 2017, and is among the world's top 3 mobile browsers.

When UC Browser mysteriously disappeared from Play Store on November 15 millions of users were shocked and concerned over the app's security. However, only the main UC Browser app was pulled out by Google, while the lighter UC Browser Mini was still available for downlaod.

Meanwhile, last week, UCWeb dismissed reports that Google removed its app from its Play Store over data security concerns.

"The exact reason for UC Browser's unavailability on Google Play is because of a certain setting of UC Browser that was not in line with Google's Policy. The reason for the removal has nothing to do with alleged data security breach or malicious promotion," a UCWeb spokesperson was quoted as saying by IANS.

"We would like to state that we have no records of anyone named 'Mike Ross' claiming to be working for UC Browser, as mentioned in some reports. The person claiming to be working for UC Browser is in no way associated with the firm nor represents the views of the company, " the spokesperson added.

"The allegations of misleading and malicious promotions by the said person are completely false and baseless. UC Browser's new product package will be back on Google Play next week and, in the interim, users and partners can download the product from our website http://www.ucweb.com," the company said.

When contacted, Google said in a statement: "Our policies are designed to provide a safe and positive experience for users. That's why we remove apps from Google Play that violate those policies."

In January this year, Alibaba Group had announced a Rs 2 billion investment to build the UCWeb brand in India and Indonesia over the next two years.