UC Browser, India’s second most popular mobile browser, mysteriously disappeared from the Android Play Store two days ago. The Alibaba-owned application has been previously a center of a few controversies which allegedly accused it of illegal data collection activities. However, the actual cause behind the takedown was unknown until now as the company has released an official word.
As per the statement, UC Browser was pulled from the Play Store on Monday and will continue to remain banned for a week. While the company didn’t specify the proper reason that led to this dismissal, it did say a “certain setting” was not in line with Google’s policy. “We have conducted an urgent internal investigation and fixed the problem. The new version has been uploaded on Google Play’s Developer Console and is awaiting evaluation.“, further added the spokesperson.
Furthermore, an updated version of UC Browser will be available on the store next week. Users can, however, still download a completely functional APK file from the developer’s website and sideload it on their Android phone. In addition to that, they can also settle for the lite version dubbed “UC Browser Mini” and download it from the Play Store.
UC Browser, in its most recent statistic, had over 100 Million users and accounted for roughly 32% of the browser market in India. Its biggest competitor, Google Chrome, stands at the first position with a share of 35% as of October 2017.
A report published by the Times of India early this year mentioned the browser app was reportedly transmitting data containing user habits and profiles to China. However, if that was the case, Google would have taken down the app months ago. Hence, it remains to be seen what exactly caused this suspension. We’ve reached out to UC Browser and will update the story once we receive a reply.