UC Browser is a mobile web browser developed by the Chinese mobile Internet company UCWeb, owned by Alibaba Group.
The browser is popular with more than 500 million downloads on Google Play Store. But somehow, the web browser got kicked from the store because of a rumored data theft or misleading promotions. However, the real reason appears to come from a setting in the browser itself.
Android Police that has previously signed up as an affiliate of UC Union, the browser's parent company, got an email:
DO NOT use the Malicious Promotion method(s) or STOP such behavior immediately if you are acting so.
Upon discovery a Malicious Promotion, UC Union is entitled to (i) STOP your payment settlement, or DEDUCT your corresponding payment made to you; (ii) compensation in recovery of the loss suffered by UC Union,
including but not limited to loss of UC Union’s good will, loss of users of UC Union Product(s), removal of UC Union Product(s) from Google Play or Apple Store, and any other loss as a result of your Malicious Promotion;
(iii) require you to CLARIFY the facts for elimination of the negative impact shed upon UC Union; and (iv) resort to any other legal measures if necessary.
This indicated that the reasons for the browser being kicked, include misleading ads, malicious and redirection of ads that were used to increase UC Browser installs.
UC Browser in having problems with ads isn't anything new. The company behind it had used aggressive strategies, that was before UC Union finally pulled the affiliate program after some partners resorted to malicious ads. The company then reinstated the program, but the problem is not over for the browser.
Another thing that angers Google, is that one Twitter user, claiming to be a UC Browser employee, was also said misleading ads were to blame:
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
UCWeb responded to what really caused the problem. According to the company, the fault wasn't with malicious advertisements - it was a setting in the app itself.
The company also said that UC Browser is returning with a new product package on Google Play.
And regarding the said employee, the company stated that it has "no records of anyone named ‘Mike Ross’ claiming to be working for UC Browser, as mentioned in some reports. The person claiming to be working for UC Browser is in no way associated with the firm nor represent the views of the company. The allegations of misleading and malicious promotions by the said person are completely false and baseless."
Meanwhile, users and partners can download the product straight from its website.