India most important international market for us, says UC Browser
New Delhi: With over 130 million monthly active users, India is the most important overseas market for UC Browser, a company executive said.
“India has been the most important overseas market for UC Browser, not only because of the current market (share) we have—we are already No.1—but also because we see vast growth rate of the market,” Shallia Li, head of UC Browser’s international business at Alibaba Mobile Business Group, said in an interview.
UC Browser, part of UC Web, is an integral part of Alibaba’s strategy in India, besides its larger bets in digital payments, e-commerce and logistics. Alibaba acquired Guangdong, China-based UC Web and brought it under its Alibaba Mobile Business Group in 2014. The mobile browser, UC Web’s flagship product, has been fairly popular in India for its quick-loading pages and efficient data management. It is also a powerful content distribution platform. “We have been here for over seven years. In the beginning, we grew because we are fast and we save data efficiently so people chose us—that helped us have our first blip of growth,” said Li.
“More recently, we identified people here are consuming more and more content online, we have emphasized the functions of content distribution and giving you recommended content extensively—that is what helped us grow recently,” she said.
According to Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers’ 2017 Internet Trends report, UC Browser’s mobile market share in India went up from about 25% in the first quarter of 2013 to over 50% in the corresponding quarter in 2017. It hit 100 million monthly active users in November 2016 and 130 million this January.
One of the reasons for the rise in users is curated and personalized content, something that sets UC Browser apart from its peers.
In March 2017, He Xiaopeng, UCWeb’s co-founder and a president at Alibaba Mobile Business Group, announced an investment of Rs200 crore over two years in content partnerships in India. Over several months after that, UC Web introduced a news product called UC News, mobile marketing platform UC Ads and launched a self-creating content platform We-Media.
Li did not disclose how much of the earmarked amount is spent, but said the firm “will definitely invest more and develop more functions in terms of content distribution.”
“We will emphasize on how you can consume that content comfortably and precisely what you are interested in. Those will be the parts we will focus on,” Li said.
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