Alibaba’s UCWeb lays off India staff


Alibaba’s subsidiary UC Web is downsizing its workforce in India following the ban on 59 Chinese-origin mobile apps, including UC Web’s browser and two other products. The ban, implemented last month after a clash between Indian and Chinese forces, led to concerns about threats to India’s sovereignty and security.

UC Web, which has been operating in India for a decade, informed some employees through a letter dated July 15 that they were losing their jobs due to the government ban affecting UC Web and Vmate, hindering the company’s ability to continue services in India. While UCWeb has complied with the government order, it has not clarified whether it has completely halted operations.

Alibaba declined to comment on the matter. UC Browser, one of the banned apps, had 130 million monthly active users in India. The company has less than 100 direct employees in India, alongside several hundred third-party workers.

Another affected app, Club Factory, has informed its Indian sellers that it is invoking a “force majeure” clause, temporarily suspending settlements until the ban is lifted. The company stated in a letter to around 30,000 Indian sellers that it is working with the government to address queries related to the ban.

The ban on these apps, including TikTok, has prompted the Indian government to issue a questionnaire to the app operators, posing 77 questions about their content censorship practices, ties to foreign governments, and influencer lobbying activities.

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