Amidst allegations that Alibaba’s UC web browser sends sensitive data to China, it has received the ax from the Google Play Store. However, the reason seems to be that they have been involved in a deceptive advertising campaign in order to promote their app.
Earlier, news had surfaced that the holding company, Alibaba, had come under the scrutiny of the Indian government as a part of investigations against Chinese companies over data theft.
A Twitter user, who claims to work for the company, responded in a tweet stating that the app was removed from the Play Store because it used “misleading” and “unhealthy” methods of promotion to increase installs.
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
This basically lines up with what Android Police founder Artem Russakovskii stated in a Reddit post today. He shared details of an email from the UC Union, UCWeb’s advertising and affiliate network. The email, intended for advertising partners, outlines that the company “prohibits any and all misleading/malicious advertising method(s) to procure new users when promoting UC Browser campaigns.”
However, in a statement to Gadgets360, UC claims that it has been removed from the Play Store because of a setting that violated Play Store’s developer guidelines. The company stated that it is co-operating with Google to make sure that its app is reinstated as soon as possible.
However, if you are one of those people who absolutely need this app, you can grab a copy of the app from APKmirror here.