UC Browser, one of the most popular mobile web browsers, has suddenly disappeared from Google Play Store. This surprising news comes just a few days after the Alibaba-owned browser surpassed Google Chrome with over 500Mn downloads globally.
The web browser for Android is no longer visible in the search results on Play Store, though other UCWeb apps like UC News and UC Browser Mini are still available to download. For now, it’s unclear what the reason for removal is. Both the companies Google and UC Web kept mum on why UC Browser has removed from Google Play Store.
It is not unknown that Alibaba’s mobile web browser has been in the limelight for quite some time. It has been under examination owing to data security concerns. But whether or not it will return to the Play Store is yet doubtful. Here’s what we know for now.
Why UC Browser Has Disappeared Mysteriously From the Play Store?
The removal of the app from Google Play was spotted by users. Reports indicate that Google removed the app due to some data security concerns. As per Google, misleading and malicious ads were being used to amp up installs for UC Browser lately. Nonetheless, it’s not the first time this has happened. Earlier, UC Union has pulled the affiliate program after some partners moved to malicious ads.
According to UCWeb, the real problem wasn’t with nasty advertisements – it was a setting in the app itself instead. The company sent out an email throwing some light on what exactly happened and also drawn attention to the reason for the sudden removal. The email statement noted,
“We were informed by Google Play about temporary removal of UC Browser from the Play Store for 7 days, beginning 13 Nov 2017, under the reason that a certain setting of UC Browser is not in line with Google’s policy. We have conducted an urgent internal investigation and fixed the problem.”
The company claims that it has uploaded a new version on Google Play’s Developer Console and is waiting for evaluation. Till then, UC Web recommends users to download UC Browser Mini as an alternative. However, you can grab the web browser through its APK file until it returns to the Play Store.
In August, some reports state that UC Browser was trying to steal sensitive user data, which it then sends to its servers in China without user’s permission. Reports also claimed that the app gathers data even after a user uninstalls it or cleans the browsing data. The government was even set to ban the browser if it was found the culprit. Nevertheless, the company had issued a statement ensuring security and privacy of users at its priority.
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