UC Browser Removed from Google Play Store for Misleading Users
Alibaba owned UC Browser is one of the most popular browser applications on the Google Play Store. Or at least it used to be till Google pulled it down earlier today. There was only one browser which was providing legitimate competition to Google Chrome in Android devices – and that was the UC Browser with over 500 Million downloads. The browser briefly overtook Chrome as the most popular Android browser in India!
This morning, a number of people pointed out that the UC Browser was suddenly not visible in searches in the Google Play Store and it was later found out that the app has been officially pulled down because it was ‘misleading users’.
As of now Google has not given any statement as to why the UC Browser was delisted from the Google Play Store. However, it is likely to have happened because there were malicious, misleading ads on the browser which were redirecting users towards UC’s web affiliates, helping them bloat their installation numbers.
Mike Ross, who works for UC Browser later confirmed via Twitter that: 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.
The UC Union, which is UC’s web affiliate network has taken immediate actions and has sent out a mail to all the partners involved – stating that they must ensure that they are not doing anything against the Terms of Service. UC clearly stated in the mail that they are against all sorts of malicious advertising and misleading redirects. A number of penalties were then listed which will be imposed on the violaters.
The browser will be back on the Google Play Store in 30 days. However, this isn’t the first time the UC Browser has been in the news for the wrong reasons. Back in August, the Government of India had suggested to ban the browser as it was found sending information to China!