China’s e-commerce behemoth Alibaba has established a new department, which is responsible for the integration of businesses involving the mobile browser, search, and gaming services. This department will take care of the mergers that Alibaba is looking to make with other companies that exist in the mobile space. The first such company is UCWeb, which is a prominent mobile Internet browser company. By teaming with UCWeb, Alibaba is expected to further solidify its growing dominance of the mobile space.
Chinese ecommerce leader Alibaba last night updated its SEC prospectus, revealing, among other things, details about last week’s acquisition of mobile browser maker UCWeb. The deal, which Alibaba proclaimed to be the biggest in Chinese internet history and bigger than Baidu’s US$1.9 billion acquisition of 91 Wireless, cost Alibaba US$479 million in cash and 12.3 million company shares for the remaining one-third of UCWeb.
Yesterday, Alibaba and UCWeb jointly announced the former’s full acquisition of the latter, publicly calling it the biggest merger in the history of Chinese internet companies. Today, UCWeb founder and CEO Yu Yongfu gave an interview to foreign media to discuss his company’s role within Alibaba moving forward. While he remained vague about some of the details, here’s everything we’ve learned so far:
While many in the Chinese mobile games market see Tencent’s domination of distribution and publishing is almost inevitable, the other giant players in the market have other plans. In 2013, search giant Baidu spent $1.9 billion buying app distribution outfit 91 Wireless, and now ecommerce giant Alibaba – which is about to IPO in the US – has fully acquired UCWeb. It’s best known for its UC browser, which in China has spawn the UC 9Game platform, which provides a combination of Android app distribution and social interaction for players.
China’s biggest ecommerce company Alibaba will wholly-acquire the country’s biggest mobile browser maker UCWeb, according to a joint announcement made today. Alibaba will buy all the shares of UCWeb that it does not already own. UCWeb CEO Yu Yongfu will become part of Alibaba’s new strategic decision-making committee, and all 3,000 of UCWeb’s employees are now under the Alibaba umbrella as part of the “Ali UC mobile business group” (translation ours).
Indonesia’s mobile phone users are growing in number rapidly each year, so it’s no wonder that many firms are vying to woo them in some way. One of these is China-based UC Browser. The team now claims it’s Indonesia’s third most popular mobile web browser, behind Opera and Android’s default browser. That’s why Indonesia is one of its main markets.
Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba and mobile developer UCWeb today announced their latest joint venture: mobile content search. The two companies have created a mobile search engine for apps, shopping, and ebooks, in addition to the more traditional search model. The development of Shen Ma actually began in July of last year. Sina Tech reports Alibaba owns 30 percent of the new search engine and UCWeb owns 70 percent. Last October, Alibaba invested US$50 million in US-based app search engine Quixey, showing company’s growing interest in mobile search.
UC Browser, the world’s most popular third-party mobile browser made by China’s UCWeb, announced today it passed the 500 million global quarterly active user mark. UCWeb reported hitting the 400 million user threshold in May of last year, which means the browser gained an additional 100 million in less than 12 months. 300 million of its users are on Android.
iResearch, the Shanghai-based internet research firm, released a report today revealing data on mobile browser usage in China. Among other key points, the study revealed that the most popular mobile browser in China (measuring both iOS and Android devices) is UC Browser, the popular app designed by UCWeb, with a market share of over 65 percent when measured in monthly active users. Sitting behind UC Browser is Tencent’s QQ Mobile Browser with roughly 30 percent market share, followed by Baidu’s Baidu Browser at roughly 10 percent.