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[Updated]UC Browser Got Removed From Google Play Store

Recently, the famous browser called UC Browser has disappeared from the Google Play store. Alibaba, the company which owns UC Browser gained more than 500 million downloads last month and has over 100 million users in India is now no longer visible on search.

Users quickly noticed that it was removed from Play Store also, users were getting mails when they asked why the app got removed. UC Union (UCWeb's affiliate network) said in the email that there is some conflict going on between Google and UCWeb. The UC Union email, which was said to be circulated on November 9, warns partners to abandon "all misleading/malicious advertising" ways that are being used to procure new users.

UC Browser has been accused of sending user data, including IMEI number and location data, to a China-based server. The IT giant took this step shortly after the application came under the Indian government’s scanner for allegedly sending data to remote servers in China. It was said that the application could access user data even after its removal from the phone. The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing in Hyderabad is investigating the matter.

Also, Mike Ross, who claims to work for UC Browser, tweeted that the browser is "temporarily removed" from the Play Store for 30 days due to adopting "misleading" and "unhealthy" methods of increasing installs. We've reached out to Google and UCWeb for clarity and will update this space accordingly.

For those who still want to download the app, the official UCWeb site has provided a link to sideload the UC Browser app through its APK file.

This is not the first time that UC Browser made in the news. back in August, some media reports had surfaced that revealed a probe against UC Browser for sending user details and location data to a remote server. The government was even set to ban the browser if the Chinese browser was found guilty. However, UCWeb has released a statement ensuring security and privacy of users at its priority. "We have strong measures in place to encrypt the data while we transmit it," the company had said in an interview to IANS.

Data provided by research firm StatCounter shows UC Browser as the most popular mobile browser in India, surpassing Google's Chrome with nearly 50 percent market share. The browser even had domination with 60 percent share of the Indian market at the initial stage but eventually lost some of its ground to Chrome.

Update : It’s beginning to look like UC Browser’s sudden removal from the Play Store could be temporary for 30 days or so. A Twitter user claiming to work on the browser reportedly received an email confirming that the app was “removed from play store for 30 days because it used “Misleading” and “Unhealthy” methods of promotion to increase installs.”

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