UC Browser, a browser from China that had risen and become strong enough to eat up the market share of older popular browsers like Opera and Chrome thanks to aping features that made them popular in the first place and an aggressive user acquisition strategy that also saw them enter the Kenyan market over 18 months ago, seems to be missing from the Play Store.
This is what greets you when you head over to UC Browser’s Google Play Store page:
We’re not sure at this point what might have really led to this and whether it is the developers themselves who took it down or if it is Google which did so.
On Reddit, where I first came across this news a few hours ago, there seems to be some consensus that UC Browser might have been engaged in some shady practices. Like sending user data back to China, something that China-based application developers often get accused of in addition to shady practices like tag-jacking (so as to top app store searches), using misleading names, copying the names of popular apps and lots and lots of ads (including lock screen ones that just won’t go away). [Sidenote: we need to have a masterclass for y’all on why Cheetah Mobile is the anti-Christ of the mobile app ecosystem in our Knowledge Base series. I am working on it.]
Just recently, the browser hit a huge milestone: 500 million downloads on the Play Store.
We’re keeping an eye out for how this progresses.
UPDATE (22nd November 2017)
It’s back now. This is what they had to say about its brief absence from the store.