Alibaba’s UCWeb To Invest Rs 200 Crore In India And Indonesia Over Next 2 Years
An Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. employee walks in front of the company’s operations center in Hangzhou, China. (Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Alibaba’s UCWeb To Invest Rs 200 Crore In India And Indonesia Over Next 2 Years

Alibaba Mobile Business Group firm UCWeb plans to invest Rs 200 crore in India and Indonesia over the next two years, in a bid to tap the "huge potential" of user-generated content in India.

The Jack Ma-led company wants to strengthen its grip on Indian media through its news distribution and distribution platform UC News, it said in a media statement. UC News is a "big-data powered content distributor" that curates news from all categories including news, cricket, technology, entertainment and lifestyle”.

As India enters the age of increased content consumption through its mobile devices, there is a huge potential for the growth of user-generated content in India similar to what has happened in China. There are more than 600 million mobile users and 20 million online content creators in China whereas India currently has 371 million mobile users with miniscule contribution from self-publishing outlining a huge demand-supply gap.
Jack Huang, President of Overseas Business, Alibaba Mobile Business Group

UCWeb is looking to be one of the leading news aggregators through its self-publishing programme We-Media. In November 2016, the programme saw a leap in readership with a 184 percent rise in English page views and 348 percent rise in Hindi page views, the statement said.

India is the most critical overseas market for UCWeb and this investment will help bring in the global mobile internet to an era of ‘GUF’ (Google, UCWeb and Facebook).
Jack Huang, President of Overseas Business, Alibaba Mobile Business Group.

The company hopes to tap the growth of non-conventional news sources such as social media, blog posts and video content creators to establish themselves in the Indian market. "We plan to add more than 30,000 self-publishers, bloggers and key opinion leaders to our platform in 2017," Huang added.

With content in Hindi seeing almost five times the traction as that of English, the news curator will use the investment to enhance the quality of "vertical content and news in regional and minority languages".

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