UC Browser app vanishes from Play Store following privacy concerns

UC Browser no longer available on Google Play Store here is why

In a big jolt to US Browser Google Play Store has taken down the application allegedly for running misleading campaigns

UC Browser, the popular web browsing app and a close competitor to Google's Chrome browser for Android Devices seems to have been pulled down from the Play store.

For those unfamiliar with the name, UC Browser is developed by UCWeb, which is owned by China's Alibaba Group. The browser is known for its data compression features, which allow users to access maximum content without having to worry about mobile data consumption.

This falls in line with a report which emerged in August this year that pointed out that, UC Browser was under the government's scanner for alleged leak of mobile data of its Indian users.

Earlier this month, UC Web announced that the mobile browser has crossed 500 million downloads. In addition, it is the sixth most downloaded Android app in India. Also a Twitter user named Mike Ross, who works with UC Browser posted a tweet explaining the app was taken down for a similar reason.

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There's no statement as to why the app was taken down, but the prevailing theory on Reddit is that the malicious redirect ads served up by UC Web's affiliates to inflate installs prompted Google to take action and delist the browser.

A report by Android Authority states that UCWeb claims that Indian users make up 100 million of its total monthly active users from around the world, with the latter figure reportedly reaching 420 million, per reports from 2016. Back in 2015, Canadian technology research group Citizen Lab reported that the application was providing critical personal information, including location, mobile number and device details, to third-party applications. Incidentally, the lightweight version of the browser, UC Mini, is still available for download on the Play Store.

There's certainly more to this story and we'll be keeping an eye out for any official word on the matter.

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