In the months to come, Alibaba subsidiary UCWeb intends to roll out an eCommerce service in India. UCWeb is known for its popular mobile browser, UC Browser, according to reports.
According to reports, a UCWeb spokesperson said the company is looking to create an eCommerce service centered on platforms for content in the country. However, it is not aiming to rival the eCommerce operations already in India. The spokesperson added that Alibaba Group is not overseeing the service’s development.
UC Browser counts India as a critical market, where it has more than 130 million users. (It is used by over 430 million users worldwide.) StatCounter notes that UC Browser had more than 23 percent of the market share for mobile browsers in India, second only to Google Chrome.
According to the spokesperson, UC Browser would harness its “extensive user communities in India” to develop the eCommerce business. “The new service is in line with our strategy to enrich the experience for users and clients alike.”
The service has recently bolstered UC Browser to grow its service beyond browsing. The browser currently works with more than 700 media outlets and more than 120,000 bloggers to provide content to its users.
In separate news, Alibaba is reportedly close to wrapping up its $2 billion acquisition of NetEase’s cross-border retail platform Kaola. Through the acquisition, Kaola will merge with Alibaba’s Tmall Global while still operating independently to create a huge cross-border eCommerce operation.
At the close of 2018, Tmall Global held a 31.7 percent share of the market, while Kaola had about 24.5 percent, much larger than rivals Amazon (6 percent) and JD Worldwide (11.5 percent). Caixin Global first reported Alibaba’s Kaola acquisition for $2 billion in cash on Aug.15, but the deal is said to have fallen apart.