UCWeb, part of the Alibaba Mobile Business group, has launched its mobile marketing platform, UC Ads in India. UC Ads will enable businesses to access the company’s huge user base across platforms like UC Browser, UC News, and 9Apps.
In a statement, the company said, “UC Ads will provide an intelligent content marketing solution to enable established brands and emerging businesses reach out to right set of audiences across India at the right time.”
UC Ads will be focusing to engage with businesses across industries such as ecommerce, automobile, online travel agent (OTA), entertainment, education, IT and consumer electronics sectors in the country that are seeking to customise their marketing solutions. It will also focus on emerging businesses seeking cost-effective mobile marketing.
Kenny Ye, Alibaba Mobile Business Group General Manager Overseas Business, told ET, “India has emerged as one of the biggest mobile economies and we are proud partners of this growth. Our platforms including UC News, UC Browser and 9Apps are offering enriching consumer experience which has helped us secure a strong user base across the country. We are now working towards extending the benefits of our reach and insights to the brands that want a better connect with the consumers.”
As per Kenny, backed by powerful analytical tools, UC Ads will help brands and emerging businesses to improve brand exposure, app download, product reputation, sales promotion and customer acquisition. UC Ads has already run pilots with brands like Vivo, Myntra and OnePlus in India to enable them reach out to right set of target audience.
Alibaba And Mobile Marketing In India
Alibaba Group’s mobile business unit has steadily been introducing many of its offerings in the India over the years. China-based UCWeb made a silent entry in the Indian subcontinent in 2011. This was the time when the Indian mobile browser market was dominated by players like Google Chrome and Opera. It was in August 2013, that UCWeb finally grabbed media attention after pushing down its nemesis Opera from top position. Since then, in the last six years, the company has sought to upgrade its positioning in India from a popular browsing tool to a digital content distribution platform.
In June 2016, UC News, the content distribution arm of UC Web was launched in India. Meanwhile, 9Apps, the third-party Android app store and mobile applications distribution platform of UCWeb, marked its entry in the Indian ecommerce space in August 2016. This year in March, We-Media Reward Plan 2.0, a user generated content platform was launched in India. Alibaba led the launch with an initial investment of $749K (INR 5 Cr). The Chinese ecommerce giant further plans to invest about $30 Mn (INR 200 Cr) in the next two years to drive the content distribution wagon in India.
By the end of March 2017, UC Browser’s share in the Indian market had been recorded as 52.30%, as per a Statcounter April 2017 report, the highest amidst other popular and global third-party mobile browsers, including Google Chrome (29.30%), Opera (9.40%), and Android (1.80%). With smartphone penetration in the country expected to reach 520 Mn by 2020 (Ernst & Young January 2016 Mn by 2020 (Ernst & Young January 2016 report), it is no wonder the mobile marketing space is witnessing increased interest from even foreign players like Alibaba given that India is the world’s second-largest internet market. The digital content consumption market in India has been poised to reach $3.1 Bn (INR 20,000 Cr) by 2020 as per an EY January 2016 report. And it is this growth which UC Ads will tend to leverage with its mobile marketing platform.
[The development was first reported by ET]