UC Browser, a popular mobile web browser in many emerging markets, owned by China’s Alibaba Group, has disappeared from the Google Play Store. According to the data from app analytics firm App Annie, the app was pulled from the Google Play Store on November 12.
Several users began inquiring about the app’s whereabouts earlier this week on Reddit. It was not immediately clear why UC Browser had been pulled from Android’s app store.
As reported by a Twitter user Mike Ross, who claims to be a developer at Alibaba Group, Google pulled UC Browser from its store due to “misleading” and “unhealthy” promotional tactics used by the company to increase the install count of its app.
I work for UC Browser,I got mail today morning it said that UC Browser was temporarily removed from play store for 30 days because it used “Misleading” and “Unhealthy” methods of promotion to increase installs
— Mike Ross (@SKz_14) November 14, 2017
UC Browser Mini, a light version of the company’s browser is still available on Google Play. Though UC Browser is not a household name in the Western markets, the Alibaba’s app is incredibly popular in markets such as India, as well as Pakistan. According to a survey, UC Browser captures one-third of Pakistan’s mobile browser market share.
The app has been among the top six most downloaded apps from Google Play in India for the last two years, venture capitalist Mary Meeker noted in her yearly internet report in May this year. As of July, UC Browser had been installed more than 100 million times worldwide from Google Play Store.
UC Browser is still available to download on Apple’s App Store, Amazon’s Android store, and through company’s official website.