UC Web winds up in India, lays off 90% staff

The subsidiary of Alibaba Group has given 30 days’ notice to the employees

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UC Web, subsidiary of the China-based multinational firm, Alibaba Group, has suspended its India operations. It has asked 90 per cent of its workforce in the country to leave and given them a notice period of 30 days.

Vmate, a video-blogging platform owned by Alibaba, has laid off its India staff recently.

The impacted employees of UC Web, about 315 of them, belonging to associate, managerial as well as entry-level positions were verbally informed of the layoffs over video-conferencing.

UC Web’s mobile browser, UC Browser, has been in operation for almost a decade now. It used to also offer a news aggregation service, UC News.

The move is a result of the banning of 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok, Helo, UC Browser, UC News, and WeChat. TikTok reportedly had about 200 million active users in India.

Of the more than 430 million UC browser users worldwide, a significant number, that is, about 130 million, are from India. It was probably one of the leading mobile browsers in the country, second only to Google Chrome.

Before the ban came into effect, Chinese internet firms had announced their plans to invest in India in a big way. In fact, owner of TikTok and Helo, ByteDance, had rolled out a one billion dollar investment plan in the country. Last year, UC Web had announced that it was working on launching a fully-owned e-commerce business in India, along with an online movie-ticketing service.

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