The Light App was coined by Baidu who announced the program two months ago, encouraging developers to build webapps/hybrid apps so that in-app content can be indexed by Baidu search engine easier and users will be able to access mobile content without leaving Baidu platform.
Now UC Web says they support Light App and is pitching the Light App in the U.S.. Yu Yongfu, UCWeb’s Chairman & CEO, calls on mobile developers to leverage it to reach out to potential users in the Chinese market and emerging markets at GMIC 2013 Silicon Valley.
Amazon will launch its Light App on UC’s platform as the first global brand that users will be able to shop on Amazon within the browser.
UC Browser calls itself a “Super App” which, by UC’s definition, has “large user base, frequent use, performing a core or basic function on a mobile device, and the defining quality is their ability to support extended services by acting as a platform for third party apps.” UC’s wish is to convince all the non-super apps to convert their existing apps into “Light Apps” and put them onto UC webapp store for UC has a huge user base and can channel traffic to their services.
The company announced UC+ platform a quarter ago, encouraging developers submit webapps onto its WebApp store and develop plugins or other services.
In short, UB wants to be the super app store of a new category of apps. More than a few Chinese Internet companies, mobile browsers or other mobile app-related businesses, are eyeing that too. UC Web claims it has the world’s largest mobile webapp store, with 50 million monthly active users and more than 1,700 apps.
UB Web has entered its tenth year since inception. When it turned nine two months ago the company announced strategic investment from Alibaba. Hexiao Peng, president and co-founder of the company, said the company was ready for IPO recently in an interview with TechWeb.