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Alibaba-owned UCWeb unveils revamped UC browser

MUMBAI: Alibaba Mobile Business Group Company-owned UCWeb has unveiled a revamped UC browser that includes news feeds from its news aggregator app UC News.

The UC News app, launched specifically for the Indian market, will now be an integral part of re-launched UC Browser with more customisation options for users.

UC Browser has been updated keeping in mind the user preferences for trending and relevant information at the fingertip.

The company has also launched its We-Media program in India, which has become the second market after China to have this program.

ucwebWe-Media offers a common platform for all viewpoints to be present together in one place, whether from a celebrity, blogger, key influencer, or a commoner. As part of the content strategy, We-Media aims to provide users with a mix of both regular and niche content.

It has already roped in Manish Paul, host of ‘Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa’ as a celebrity blogger along with Chetan Bhagat, celebrity author, and Lauren Gottlieb, celebrity dancer, to join the program.

UCWeb has evolved from a mobile browser to a mobile media asset, offering mobile search and news feeds to over 420 million monthly active users (MAUs) globally. In India, UC Browser has a base of 80 million MAUs and a market share of close to 50%, as per StatCounter.

Once a user selects his favourite topics, the algorithm adapts and offers more information on the topic of his choice. The information is shareable, can be customised and is available in two languages, English and Hindi, which will later also be available in other regional languages, starting with Tamil.

The new UC Browser has a simple and clean UI, and the homepage is a lot more concise with one swipe allowing the option to switch from browser to news. The personalised channel settings allow users to choose their favourite news channels and make their own reading sequence, as per their individual preference. The user-friendly browser also has a night mode feature that offers a convenient browsing experience during night.

According to content consumption trends on UC Browser’s base of 80 million MAUs in India, eight out of the top 10 English search keywords are related to entertainment. The same number falls to three for Hindi keywords. In news-related content, seven out of the top 10 Hindi news pieces are related to entertainment.

Among Indian states, Maharashtra is by far the biggest consumption market in entertainment with over 42% of the daily content consumption. Mumbai is ranked ahead of other metros in entertainment content consumption, followed by Delhi and Kolkata.

Alibaba Mobile Business Group president of overseas business Jack Huang said, “Our new milestone of reaching 420 million MAUs has placed us on a par with Twitter and Instagram. Our vision in the coming years after success in India is to serve half the population of the planet. Our strategy is to focus on ‘Glocalisation’—which is going global by offering localised solutions in each market. We believe this strategy will lead us to a new digital era, which is GUF – Google, UCWeb and Facebook.”

In Q1 FY 2016–17 results of Alibaba Group, UCWeb has played a significant role by strengthening company’s competitive positions in digital media and entertainment category. The digital media and entertainment segment of Alibaba Group operates businesses through multiple properties including UCWeb.

UCWeb is a business within Alibaba Mobile Business Group and a leading provider of mobile internet software and services. Since its inception in 2004, UCWeb’s mission has been to provide better mobile internet experience to people around the world.

UC Browser, the flagship product of UCWeb, is compatible with all mainstream operating systems and available in 11 languages including English, Russian, Indonesian and Vietnamese.