UC Browser, a mobile browser app designed by China-based UCWeb -- backed by Alibaba group, is reportedly taken down from the Google Play Store.
The browser had almost 500 million downloads across the globe with over 420 million users.
The browser is quite popular in India with a user base of almost 100 million. The delisting of app has seen no response from UCWeb or Google and, therefore, is reported to be a temporary delisting. However, an email received by Android Police founder -- an online technology news
portal – states that the UC Web’s affiliates are using malicious redirect ads to inflate installs. This may have prompted Google to delist the browser.
Here is a snippet of the e-mail shared by Android Police founder on Reddit:
Another Twitter user named Mike Ross, who claims to works with UC Browser
posted a tweet confirming that the app was taken down for a similar reason.
Mike wrote, “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.”
This is not the first time UC Browser
has been alleged for misleading activity. In a news
report in Business Standard on August 22
citing sources reports that UC Browser
sends user and device identifiers such as IMSI (international mobile subscriber identity) and IMEI (international mobile equipment identity) numbers and location data to a remote server based in China.