UCWeb, a global mobile browser and mobile service provider, today announced Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group, has officially joined its Board of Directors. At the same time UCWeb confirmed strategic investment from Alibaba.
Today is the ninth birthday of UCWeb. UC Browser’s market share in India has surpassed Opera, reaching 30%, in July, UCWeb stated by citing a local research firm StatCounter.
In 2009 Alibaba Group made a strategic investment in UCWeb. It is reported that Alibaba actually has become a big shareholder of UCWeb’s by acquiring stakes from three investors including Morningside who invested $10 million in 2007. (Update: In an internal mail sent to UCWeb employees, CEO Yu Yongfu confirmed that Alibaba made another investment in the company.)
A report by Taobao Wireless Division released in Q2 2012 shows UC Browser contributed 41% of the mobile traffic to Taobao, Alibaba’s online retail marketplace. Commenting on Ma’s joining, Yu Yongfu, CEO of UCWeb, said “Alibaba’s strength as the dominant e-commerce platform in China will help accelerate UCWeb’s transformation into a one stop shop of internet services.”
Jack Ma resigned as CEO of Alibaba this May and now is executive chairman of the group and chairman of CSN, a newly established logistics program.