Alibaba-owned UC Browser, with a user base of over 430 million globally, has run into some trouble with Android. The smartphone browser, which is quite popular in Nigeria, is no longer available on the Google Play Store.
There’s not yet been any intimation as to why the app was de-listed, but reports indicate it may be because the app was deemed “malicious”.
Apparently, the browser was serving up malicious redirect ads thanks to UC Web’s affiliates, in order to boost their install numbers. As a result, Android felt compelled to step in and crack down on the app.
An email provided to Android Police by the UC Union supports this theory. It reads:
“Dear Partner, We hereby emphasis again that UC Union prohibits any and all misleading/malicious advertising method(s) to procure new users when promoting UC Browser campaigns, such as by using slogan inconsistent with the Product functions, or by using inductive slogan.”
If Twitter reports are to be believed, the ban will not be a permanent one for the browser, merely a suspension until it manages to end the malpractices.
The browser has been incredibly popular in India over the last few years, for its speed as well as varied features. It even briefly surpassed Chrome earlier this year as the most-used smartphone web browser.