Alibaba’s browser is overtaking Google’s in some emerging markets
Monday, January 8, 2018
Chinese internet giant Alibaba is overtaking Google in the race to capture mindshare among internet users in some emerging markets thanks to the popularity of its mobile browser, according to The Wall Street Journal.
That’s because consumers in markets like India and Indonesia prefer to use Alibaba’s browser, UC Browser, over Google’s Chrome browser.
While Chrome dominates globally with a 47% mobile browser market share compared with UC Browser’s 16%, Alibaba’s browser leads in markets where low-end smartphones prevail and where access to good or affordable mobile service can be scarce. In India, UC Browser has a 51% market share compared with Chrome’s 30%, while in Indonesia, it has a 41% share compared with Chrome’s 34% share.
UC Browser is better aligned with the specific needs of consumers in emerging markets, who tend to be mobile-first and mobile-only, and rely on cheap devices with limited processing power, storage capacities, and unreliable or cost-prohibitive data networks. The UC Browser app helps consumers save storage space — the Chrome app consumes four times more space than the UC Browser app. This is significant, as the majority of consumers in Asia’s emerging markets have only half of the global average of storage space, according to Counterpoint analyst Neil Shah.