Alibaba Group firm UCWeb is planning to expand its network to search recommendation engine which will list product listing along with the company’s existing offerings such as videos.
According to VP UCWeb Global business, Huaiyuan Yang, “The Chinese firm is looking to partner with e-commerce firms such as Flipkart and Paytm Mall for the service and launch it within this year.”
UCWeb’s UC Browser has been available in India since 2009. It claims to have 130 million monthly active users in the country and 1.1 billion user downloads worldwide (excluding China).
With half of its global installs from India, UCWeb is in close partnership with 120,000 bloggers or content creators and has 700 media organisations on its platform. The firm will fully comply with the government’s requirements on data localisation and is already storing most of the data on Indian users in India, Yang added.
“We will integrate products from different platforms which people can browse through and share, but if people have to make an actual purchase, the engine will lead them to the actual website for the purchase to happen,” said Yang, adding that the company has no immediate plans to foray into the payments space.
About 30-40 per cent of the Indian population is connected to the Internet. UCWeb and Alibaba want to tap the Indian market and the company is on a mission to connect half of the world’s population. The company is focusing majorly on videos and trying to regionalise its content.
“We take privacy and data security very seriously and are serving users across the globe, we will follow all the government guidelines and majority of the data is already stored in India and is encrypted end to end while transmission,” He said and added that data of the users is only transmitted outside of the country when users browse websites or applications which are hosted outside India.
UCWeb appears vigilant in content-monitoring as it becomes a key concern for the government, looking to put some responsibility on intermediaries such as social media companies to weed out such content. Yang said that the company uses a mix of machine auditing and manual auditing to ensure that such content is not posted on UCWeb.
(With input from agencies)