UC Mobile, the owner of the most popular browser for mobile UC Browser, has released a new product called UC Paradise aiming to be an open platform for mobile. UC Browser claims over 100million users and 50billion monthly pv and over 400million downloads. The company hopes UC Paradise will be the game-changing product in Chinese mobile industry because as an open platform it for the first allows third parties to build their own applications on it sharing UC Browser’s millions’ users. In other words, UC wants its UC Paradise to be like Facebook’s open platform, but for mobile.
UC Paradise provides three key features: social networks, location-based service (LBS) and Flash games center. Third parties are welcome to develop applications (especially Flash games) on UC Paradise platform, with the access to UC’s huge user base and even users profile including location. Currently, several popular Flash games developed by third-parties have been operated on UC Paradise. As for the revenue-share, Li Mingyuan, VP of UC Product says, “At this stage, revenue is not UC Paradise’s focus. I can guarantee third parties would not be disappointed.”
Currently UC Paradise (http://u.uc.cn) can be running on all Symbian S60, Java, Android, PPC and M8 version of UC Browsers. For iPhone users, since it’s not Flash supported, users can only play wap-based games. The most controversial part is that UC Paradise can also scan contact list on user’s mobile phone and auto-link them to their real-life friends who are also registered. Although UC leaves this function as an option, some users still complains UC might leak users’ privacy.
As the company says, UC Paradise will be the most important product in next several years. When UC Browser first enters the market, most users love it because it can save lots on the bandwidth and also load the page faster as all web pages are optimized for mobile device. However, with the fast development of 3G networks (cost is also gradually cut down) and more and more smart phone like Android phones and iPhone in the market, UC Browser for the long term will be losing its core advantage. On the other hand, UC is also facing a tough competition from Tencent which has its own mobile browser (UC also complains that some ideas/features in Tencent’s mobile browser are copied from UC Browser). To be sustainable and reinforce its market leader position, Open is best strategy for the company.
Need to mention that, UC has also started its expanding to international market, especially south-east Asia market. UC Browser is now available in Russian, Vietnamese and Indonesian.