Paytm in talks to acquire Chinese mobile internet firm UCWeb’s India business
Digital payments entity Paytm is in talks to acquire the India business of Alibaba-owned Chinese mobile internet company UCWeb, which owns the UC Browser that has a market share of 51% in India, said The Times of India. This acquisition will give Paytm, itself backed by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, exposure to about 130 million monthly active users of UC Browser in India. Paytm’s business had 120 million monthly active users, according to recent reports.
However, UCWeb, in an email statement, said that media reports on acquisition talks were untrue. UCWeb added that the company will continue to focus on its second-largest market India as part of its global expansion.
An email to Paytm remained unanswered till the publication of the report.
According to the report, the deal values UCWeb’s India business at close to $450 million. UCWeb works with mobile phone makers such as Oppo, Vivo, Lava as well as advertisers, content producers, mobile network carriers and content providers.
Apart from its browser business, UCWeb products in India include UC News, 9Apps and UC Ads. The UC Browser supports 10 local languages in addition to Hindi. The browser services have been present in India for seven years and in 2017, He Xiaopeng, UCWeb’s co-founder and a president at Alibaba Mobile Business Group, announced Rs 200 crore investments in India in content partnerships.
UCWeb also has a strong presence in Indonesia, Vietnam and Russia, apart from home country, China.