Alibaba set to terminate UC Web, innovation services in India
Published: Aug 20, 2020 10:52 PM


As India pushes to decouple with China in terms of technology, Alibaba is reportedly planning to terminate its subsidiary UC Web and other innovation services in India.

UC Web confirmed the report with the Global Times on Thursday, saying that this has no impact on the group as a whole.

The decision was forced upon the UC Web as it faces pressure from India, Liu Dingding, an independent analyst of internet companies, told the Global Times on Thursday.

“However, the impact on UC Web will not be long-term as India will welcome back Chinese internet companies when political tensions ease,” Liu said, adding the company has an opportunity to explore others markets in Southeast Asian and Latin America.

Due to rising tensions with China, India in June abruptly banned 59 Chinese apps including UC Browser, TikTok and QQ Mail, claiming they were “prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of state and public order,” the Indian Ministry of Information Technology said.

UC Web told the Global Times on August 6 the company in India was following the process required by the Indian government.

A person close to Alibaba told the Global Times on the condition of anonymity that “running a company does not rely on good luck, but down-to-earth efforts to provide good customer value and services,” implying the company has been preparing for the potential end of service in India.

The success of UC Web in India can be traced back to as early as 2013 when it championed the most popular browser in the country, according to Liu. UC Web operates mobile phone browser UC Browser and news aggregation service UC News in India. UC Browser has over 430 million active users around the world, of which around 130 million are in India.

According to industry analytics firm StatCounter, the browser ranks No. 2 in India, with a 6.24 percent market share, far behind Google Chrome’s 82.05 percent, as of July 2020.