(CBN - Global) April 29 -- Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s [NYSE:BABA] mobile browser UC Browser is to be upgraded to become a 'content service platform.'
Critics believe that given falling demand for mobile browsers, UC Browser hopes to transform into an information reader to compete with similar services like Alibaba-supported Today's Headline (jinri toutiao).
"The upgraded UC Browser will be the 'Taobao' of the content field," said Mr. Yu Yongfu, president of Alibaba's mobile business unit. Taobao is Alibaba's highly successful e-commerce platform.
Launched in 2004, UC Browser was the flagship product of mobile internet company UCWeb Inc. UC Browser was acquired by Alibaba in June 2014. The browser had over 100 million daily active users by December 2014. It is the most popular mobile browser in India and Indonesia and is available in 11 languages.
Tencent Holdings Ltd. [HKG:0700] released its browser services upgrade plan on the same day. Tencent Browser will insert advertisements into its content modules and other product pages without affecting user experience, according to Vice President Zhong Xiangping. Advertisements will be provided by Tencent's ad alliance. Tencent will not receive any profit share, and its partners will enjoy 100 percent of the profits.