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|Original author(s)||UCWeb Inc.|
|Operating system||iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Windows RT, S60, J2ME, Windows CE, Microsoft Windows, MTK, Tizen, Bada, BREW|
|Available in||Chinese, English, Urdu, Bangla, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Russian, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, Farsi, Bhojpuri|
UC Browser is a web browser developed by the Chinese mobile Internet company UCWeb, which is in turn owned by the Alibaba Group. As of December 2018 it is the fourth most popular mobile browser in the world by market share, after Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. Originally launched in April 2004 as a J2ME-only application, it is available on a number of platforms including Android, BlackBerry OS, iOS, Java ME, Symbian, Windows Phone and Microsoft Windows.
- 1 Features
- 2 Privacy and security
- 3 Platforms
- 4 Localization strategy
- 5 Ecosystem partnership
- 6 Reception
- 7 See also
- 8 References
The browser uses cloud acceleration and data compression technology. UC Browser's servers act as a proxy which compresses and renders the data of web pages before sending it to users. This process helps to load web content faster. The browser can adapt to some network environments and support multi-file format downloading. In addition, UC Browser has HTML5 web app and cloud syncing features. It also has a feature called "fast download", which downloads a file in multiple parts simultaneously.
UC Browser is available on several smartphones and feature phone platforms, but the Android mobile operating system represents the largest user base for the company, with 300 million of its 500 million users total.
UC+: HTML5, WebApp and add-ons
In July 2013, UCWeb announced the UC+ Open Platform. The platform consists of a WebApp store, an add-on platform and an Application Bookmark Platform. It went live with the launch of UC Browser v9.2 for Android.
Developers can use a provided SDK to create programs that the browser runs in different scenarios. Users can download and install them from the browser's add-on panel. Examples include sharing to social media, webpage translation, augmented reality, and voice control. The Application Bookmark Platform allows partner websites to put up a QR code on UC Browser for users to scan, which adds the webpage to their bookmarks. This platform was among the first in China.
The browser supports simultaneous downloads and includes a download manager, including pages for offline reading. It supports pausing and resuming downloads. The current version of download manager has features designed to solve common problems while downloading, such as an intermittent internet connection and mislabeled files. The download process can continue after the app is closed, and can also automatically resume if the download is interrupted. The download manager sorts downloaded files by type and places them in respective folders. The latest version of UC Browser comes with a feature designed to upgrade the download speed up to 25%.
Since 2006, UC Browser has been performing more compression and rendering works on its servers, which is similar to the operation of a thin client. UC Browser is the only modern browser lacking support for WOFF2 and Brotli compression.
UCWeb claims that the cloud system used by the browser tends to fetch data from the closest servers available, making the loading process quicker and smoother for users.
Privacy and security
Research has found that UC Browser is insecure, with many vulnerabilities and privacy issues.
According to Qualys SSL Lab test and High-Tech Bridge's SSL/TLS Security Report, Logjam, FREAK, and POODLE vulnerabilities are found in UC Browser. UC Browser uses an outdated RC4 cipher cryptography with outdated SSL 3 or even SSL 2 protocol which has many security flaws. 
In 2015 it was revealed as part of the Snowden leaks that UC Browser leaks sensitive IMSI, IMEI, MSISDN data, Android ID, MAC address and users Geo-location & Wi-Fi related data without any encryption; which was used by intelligence agencies to track users. In May 2015, Citizen Lab published news about leaking of privacy details of several UC Browser users. The organization tested two versions of UC Browser, one in English and the other in Chinese. In May 2015, documents leaked by National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) had identified UC Browsers as a security weak point. Its widespread use in China, India and Indonesia made it particularly attractive to ASD. The documents revealed that in cooperation with its Five Eyes partners, ASD hacked the UC Browser and infected smartphones with spyware. The ASD declined to comment in relation to the revelations.
In 2016, the Citizen Lab reported about major security and privacy issues in the English language and Chinese language editions of the Android version of UC Browser. The report criticized the transmission of personally identifiable information to various commercial analytics tools and the transmission of user search queries without encryption. They also managed to bypass the encryption of UC Browser accusing them of using non-effective encryption systems in transmitting personally identifiable subscriber data, mobile device identifiers and user geo-location data.
In May-June 2016, Alibaba group provided the Citizen Lab with updated versions of UC Browser in order to verify their security fixes to these issues. The subsequent update published by the Citizen Lab indicated that, not all of the previously identified data leaks and privacy breaches had been fixed in UC Browser.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) in India is currently investigating this privacy breach by Alibaba-owned UC Browser. It has been alleged that the second-most-used browser in India has been sending user data to Chinese servers and that it retains control over a user's device DNS even after the browser is deleted.
The matter, first highlighted through findings of University of Toronto, is now being looked into by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Hyderabad. It is doing a technical investigation into the allegations made in the University of Toronto report which had claimed "several major privacy and security vulnerabilities that would seriously expose users of UC Browser to surveillance and other privacy violations".
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UC Browser is compatible with a number of operating systems, including Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Symbian, Windows and Windows Phone.
Android represents the largest user-base for the browser, with 300 million of its 500 million total on Google's mobile OS. There are two versions of UC Browser available on the Google Play store, including UC Browser for Android and UC Mini for Android.
UC Browser for iOS was first introduced in 2010. UC Browser relaunched its original version in 2016, with a headlining feature being a built-in adblocker.
UC Browser executes Chromium-based programs, appears out fulfilled with each of the assets of Chrome. However, it likewise has a few extra highlights to make browsing on the Web both simple and amusing. The Latest Version of UC Browser available for Windows is 7.0.185.[promotional language]
UC Browser was released for Windows Phone in early 2012, and it is now the most downloaded third-party web browser on that operating system.[obsolete source] Its popular features include Download, Incognito Browsing and Wi-Fi Sharing.[obsolete source]
This section's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (January 2019)
The company announced its "Going Global" strategy in 2012. By providing different versions for English, Russian, Indonesian, Vietnamese markets and more, the company hopes to better serve its growing international user base. The company is taking advantage of its own server networks which enable the browser to deliver customized contents to users all around the world. Besides the technical issues, the company refers to local designers and experts to accommodate local cultures and tastes, according to CEO Yongfu Yu. The logo of UC Browser was redesigned in December 2012, from a cute cartoon squirrel to a more abstract and stylized icon that's more in line with American designs.
In August 2013, UC Browser provided distribution channels of companies like AppURL Initiative.
UC Browser claimed to have reached 500 million users in March 2014, a rise attributed to its large user base in China, India and Indonesia.
In October 2012, UC Browser topped Opera in Google Play's free Android app download category in India for the first time. According to a third-party web analytics firm, StatCounter, UC Browser surpassed Opera as India's top mobile browser with 32.82 percent of the market share to Opera's 26.91 percent.
Google Zeitgeist 2013 showed that the "Most Searched Mobile Apps" in India were dominated by messaging and browsing apps, with WhatsApp and UC Browser topping the rankings for the most searches on mobile in 2013.
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by Experts: Jakub Dalek (lead), Katie Kleemola (lead), Adam Senft (lead), Christopher Parsons, Andrew Hilts, Sarah McKune, Jason Q. Ng, Masashi Crete-Nishihata, John Scott-Railton, Ronald Deibert
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