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UC Mobile Accuses Tencent of Unfair Competition

Southern Daily, 10/27/11

In an open letter to its partners and users, Chinese mobile browser developer UC Mobile has alleged that rival Tencent (0700.HK) has engaged in unfair competition and falsely claimed that QQ Browser is ranked first in China's mobile browser market in an attempt to poach UC Mobile partners. Tencent soon responded, stating that the rankings were based on data from third-parties and Tencent had "neither the ability nor the time to manipulate the data."

Data from the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) and Chinese technology market research firms iResearch and Analysys all show QQ Browser passing UCWeb in market share, although the figures from CNNIC and iResearch both include handsets with QQ Browser pre-installed in calculating market share.

UC Mobile, claiming the data from all three firms has been manipulated by Tencent, has made four allegations against Tencent: first, that Tencent has been manipulating its mobile QQ user data, and should release monthly active user figures for QQ Browser as soon as possible; second, that Tencent is engaging in unfair competition by threatening to prohibit handset vendors from pre-installing mobile QQ if they pre-install UCWeb; third, that UCWeb and Chinese internet company Sina's Weibo microblogging platform are not available in Tencent's mobile application center (msoft.qq.com); and fourth, that Tencent has not developed its own browser kernel.

Last October, UC Mobile CEO Yu Yongfu posted four screenshots on his personal microblog account, claiming that QQ Browser's interface was over 90% identical to UCWeb's and said that Tencent had "plagiarized" the design.

Upon investigation, Southern Daily confirmed that neither UCWeb nor Sina Weibo could be found in a search of Tencent's mobile app center, and that as of early 2011 several handset manufacturers including Motorola and Nokia had begun pre-installing QQ Browser instead of UCWeb on their handsets.

Keywords: mobile application rankings wireless Tencent Mobile QQ market share mobile browser UC Mobile UCWEB pre-installed 0700.HK Yu Yongfu

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