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UCWeb to invest Rs 200 cr in India, Indonesia over next two years

MUMBAI: Alibaba Mobile Business Group firm UCWeb has plans to invest Rs 200 crore in India and Indonesia over next two years to push distribution of user-generated content through its UC News platform.

UCWeb plans to add more than 30,000 self-publishers, bloggers and key opinion leaders on its We-Media platform in 2017.

Apart from investment in content distribution and development platform, UCWeb has plans to more than double its headcount in India from about 40 to 100 by 31 March 2017.

UCWeb will also add resources to aid quality enhancement of vertical content and news in regional and minority languages. Content in entertainment, sports and technology category will remain the biggest focus areas for 2017. They will also offer column operation service to quality self-publishers, bloggers and KOLs.

While speaking to media, Alibaba Mobile Business Group overseas business GM Kenny Ye stated, “We will invest Rs 200 crore over the period of two years in India and Indonesia to push user-generated content like blogs, short videos and non-conventional news feeds. Around 60% of it (Rs 120 crore) will be invested in India. We will have editors who will push content to consumers based on their customisation of news feed.”

He said that the earmarked investment does not include hiring and other business expenditure but will focus only on content generation and distribution. The firm will provide people with We Media platform where anyone can register and start publishing content.

“Our aim is to make the UC We-Media the No. 1 platform in India and Indonesia for content consumption, creation and services. We-Media will offer services like insights into topics that users would like to work on through big data analytics, artificial intelligence, etc. UC News will not generate content on its own but encourage users to do so,” Ye added.

Earlier this month, UC News announced a detailed monetary compensation plan for content creation. UC Web has crossed 100 million monthly active users in November 2016 and has 57% market share (as per stat counter) in Indian mobile browser segment. According to a recent UC News study, India has 371 million mobile internet users with minuscule contribution from self-publishers compared to 600 million mobile internet users in China with 20 million online content creators.