Alibaba's unknown browser app is dominating Google's Chrome in emerging markets

Tyrone Stewart

UC BrowserA little known free browser app is fending off Google’s Chrome in some of the fastest-growing internet markets in Asia.

Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba has given itself an advantage within emerging markets – such as India and Indonesia – as hundreds of millions of people opt for its UC Browser ahead of offerings from the US, the Wall Street Journal reports.

UC Browser is aimed at nations dominated by low-end smartphones with low storage capacity and low-quality mobile service. It requires around 31MB of storage space compared to Chrome’s 125MB.

The app currently boasts more than 430m users globally and accounted for 51 per cent of India’s mobile browser market in 2017, compared to 30 per cent for Chrome, according to StatCounter. In the same period, UC Browser was behind 41 per cent of Indonesia’s mobile browser market with Chrome sitting at 32 per cent.

UC Browser has less than one per cent market share in the US, while Chrome has 39 per cent and Apple’s Safari sits out on top with a 52 per cent share.