Mobile users in India favor a Chinese app for browsing, with almost 1 in 3 in mobile users in India using China's UC Browser, developed by Chinese firm UCWeb.
UC Browser powered 29.9 percent of total Internet traffic on phones, ahead of Opera which had a share of 28.5 percent of Indian mobile users, reported TechGig.
UCWeb claims to already have 400 million users worldwide, with the majority of them in both China and India. The app is available for all major platforms, including Nokia's Symbian and Google Android devices from UCWeb's Web site.
The browser features a modern, easy to user interface and features such as caching video for offline viewing, This itself is a great feature in India, as not all mobile users have access to fast downloads, either because of their network, data plan, or device itself. Furthermore, the UC Browser has won the best browser of the year award for 2011 and 2012, from about.com.
In fact, the growth in India is so strong that UC Web has recorded a 60 times growth within India alone in the last three years. UCWeb is now designating its office in India as its second headquarters outside of China.
Unfortunately, India's Intelligence Bureau (IB) is apprehensive about the growth and popularity of Chinese software and IT being used within India. In fact, the IB is considering banning the popular Chinese messaging app, WeChat, for issues pertaining to national security.
Personally, I don't see what the real issue is, especially since the government has slowly, and quietly, rolled out the Central Monitoring System (CMS) across most of India. In other words, the Indian government now has the tools and technology to monitor and intercept all forms of communications, something which they essentially need to prevent further incidents such as the Mumbai 11/26 attacks in 2008.
From their standpoint, the Indian government basically feels that foreign software and IT being used in India, especially from China, has backdoors, giving Chinese authorities access to information too. Well, if that actually were the case, in addition to proving it, which Indian authorities and others have yet to do, why not just ban the import and sale of Chinese software and IT? In regards to telecom, as reported in an earlier article, as of October 1, all imported equipment and technology will subjected to testing, which has yet to be outlined.
My question is what's wrong with friendly competition from China? Perhaps the IB's real aim and intent is to hamper the growth and development of foreign technology within India, thus allowing domestically grown products to shine. But if that's the case, why aren't India firms lining up and taking more of an active interest within India's mobile industry?
On the hardware side, no doubt, India is doing well within the mobile sector, with companies such as Karbon, Micromax, Lava, and Onida, to name a few. However, programming and software still comes from China, as do most of the parts. It's just the final assembly that’s done in India.
Is there no interest from India in developing their own software to run their devices? There's a large and vast pool of qualified programmers across India, however, they'd rather be working for a large MNC or apply for a green card and head off to the U.S. in search of the American dream.