Alibaba Acquires UCWeb (maker of Chinaâ€™s and India's Most Popular Mobile Browser) for roughly $2 billion.
Adam Rifkin stashed this in China!
$2 billion?! For a web browser company??
Though Alibaba did not discloseÂ how much the deal is worth, it did say that it is worth more than the $1.9 billionÂ paid for 91 Wireless by Baidu last year, formerly the biggest deal in Chinaâ€™s Internet sector.
In a statement, the companies said â€śThe move highlights the comprehensive integration of Alibaba and UCWeb following Alibabaâ€™s investment in UCWeb in 2009 and 2013, and will enables deeper synergies between the companies by marrying Alibabaâ€™s strengths in e-commerce, cloud computing and big data technology and UCWebâ€™s leading market position and technology in mobile.â€ť
UC Mobile will oversee Alibabaâ€™s browser, mobile search, location-based services, mobile gaming, app store and mobile reader operations.
UCWeb is one of the biggest web browser companies in China, with more than 50% market share. It also surpassed Opera as the top mobile browser in India last year, whenÂ Alibaba founder and chairman Jack Ma joined UCWebâ€™s board of directors, and now holds a 35% market share according to StatCounter, compared to Operaâ€™s 25%.
The move is significant because it builds up Alibabaâ€™s mobile strategy, making it a more formidable competitor to other Chinese companies like Baidu, whichÂ reportedly tried to buy UCWebÂ in June 2012, and Tencent. It may also mean that Alibaba plans to strengthen its presence in India and other emerging markets. UCWeb named India as its second headquarter in April 2013, while UC Browser has grown worldwide byÂ forming partnershipswith phone makers including HTC, Samsung, Nokia, LG, Lenovo, and carriers such as Vodafone, China Mobile, and China Telecom.
Brilliant. Alibaba is brilliant!
Yesitis. Â When is Alibaba's IPO?
Summertime. Likely August or September.
September. And it was huge.Â