Alibaba owned UC browser has just been temporarily removed from the Google PlayStore. The browser which has over 500million downloads on Google PlayStore is currently the most popular browser on India with over 100 million users surpassing chrome and one of the most popular in the world.
Although there is no official statement yet from Google and UC web on this new development , report has it that the reason for the temporary removal is due to the malicious redirect ads served up by UC Web’s affiliates to inflate installs prompted Google to take action and delist the browser.
An email received by Android Police founder Artem Russakovskii from UC Union (UC Web’s affiliate network) reinforces this theory:
“Dear Partner, We hereby emphasis again that UC Union prohibits any and all misleading/malicious advertising method(s) to procure new users when promoting UC Browser campaigns, such as by using slogan inconsistent with the Product functions, or by using inductive slogan.
DO NOT use the Malicious Promotion method(s) or STOP such behavior immediately if you are acting so.
Upon discovery a Malicious Promotion, UC Union is entitled to
(i) STOP your payment settlement, or DEDUCT your corresponding payment made to you;
(ii) compensation in recovery of the loss suffered by UC Union, including but not limited to loss of UC Union’s good will, loss of users of UC Union Product(s), removal of UC Union Product(s) from Google Play or Apple Store, and any other loss as a result of your Malicious Promotion;
(iii) require you to CLARIFY the facts for elimination of the negative impact shed upon UC Union; and (iv) resort to any other legal measures if necessary.
UC Union is looking forward to cooperating and developing with you in a healthy UC Union ecosphere.”
According to reports by a Twitter user who claims to work for UC web also confirms this. According to him;
“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”
UC browser gained momentum in India over the last few years for its speed and sheer number of features, which included a robust download manager, customizable add-ons, and integration with third-party services.
The app take down appears to be temporary and UC Browser should be back in the store after 30 days. Google is taking a strict stance on apps using dubious tricks to increase install base or spread ad malware to steal user information. Google has also introduced a ‘Verified by Play Protect’ feature, which aims to keep out harmful apps from a user’s phone.