If you have been a long time Android user or even a recent user, there is a good chance you’ve heard about UC Browser. It is one of the most used mobile browsers around. It has served a massive 500 million downloads on Google’s Play Store. And that is no small feat. However, just today, the app seems to have gone missing from the online marketplace.
When you search for “UC Browser” (PlayStore Link) you’re shown some knockoffs and also the official mini version of UC Browser. Apparently, the mini version is still there and can be downloaded.
Now, there have been no reasons declared, no announcements done on the subject either from Google or UC Web. However, recently the mobile browser owned by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba came under Indian government scanners. Investigations by top ministry officials led the government to believe that the browser was sending Indian user data to Chinese servers.
This privacy issue came to light in August at which time some publications sought clarification from UC Web. A UC Web spokesperson said: “At UC Web, we take security and privacy very seriously and work hard to comply with local regulations of each region we operate in… We have strong measures in place to encrypt the data while we transmit it.” He also said that they have not received any notice from the government.
At the same time, he didn’t deny that user data was being collected but assured that UC Web would do not breach user trust in any way. It might very well be that the government might have approached Google on the issue asking for a ban. Whatever the case, the app still remains invisible on the Play Store. At least this is the case here in India.
If you still want to use the UC Web services, you are free to download the mini version as it is still there.