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China : MOBILE browser maker UCWeb acquired by Alibaba

June 14, 2014



Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba declared that it will acquire UCWeb, a provider of mobile internet software and services.

Even though the two sides did not disclose the value of the deal, the merger is likely to be the biggest in China's internet business.

The previous record was set previous August when Nasdaq-listed Baidu closed a US$1.9 Billion deal to purchase 91 Wireless Websoft, a major distributor of Chinese smartphone applications.

UCWeb board chairman Yu Yongfu, who will work as president of Alibaba's future UC mobile platform, said the valuation of the Alibaba-UCWeb merger far exceeds the one set by Baidu, China's most popular search engine.

The assessment of the deal will be mainly decided by the stock value of Alibaba, which listed in the United States on May 6. It is expected to be the world's largest stock listing since Facebook'sUS$16 billion offering in 2012.

Alibaba at present possesses 66% of UCWeb's stake with a total investment worth US$686 Million.

Alibaba co-founder and chairman Jack Ma said in a letter to the company's staff on Wednesday that the merger deal was agreed because both Alibaba and UCWeb believe that the time of information technology is being replaced by the age of "data technology .

The merger is likely to present a challenge to Baidu, as UCWeb's UC Browser is the world's most well-liked mobile browser, boasting 5 Million users. The company established in 2004 is one of China's earliest internet firms specialized in mobile services.

The 15-year-old Alibaba is the world's largest online and mobile commerce company. It had a gross merchandise volume of US$248 billion in 2013 on its 3 major trading platforms.

Additionally to the online retail and wholesale business, it offers cloud computing services, and is the world's biggest payment processor with a payment volume of US$519 billion previous year.


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Source: TendersInfo (India)


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