Kenny Ye, MD, UCWeb India is currently in charge of the overall business and growth of the company in India. Ye have extensive experience in technology consultancy and business development in the telecommunication and mobile internet industries.UCWeb were the first mobile browser to introduce cloud computing technology back in the year 2004. UC Browser has been able to achieve industry-leading web page loading speed. With more people accessing internet on their mobile phones, UCWeb wants to continue being the leader in third-party mobile browser in India focusing on localisation of the product, drive deeper content and service integration and add more features that cater to consumers’.
- Team Estrade: Tell us about yourself and how has been your inclusion with UCWeb?
Kenny Ye: I have a fair bit of travel to do every month under my current role. I use this opportunity to get a lay of the land, understand the culture, the people and use that experience to provide richer products to our users across the globe.
Managing a diverse team has its challenges and thrills. I firmly believe that no leadership model is universal and different styles work well under different situations. It’s all about moving ahead as a team rather than focusing on just your individual goals.
My leadership mantra is a simple quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart. I follow the same principle in life.
- Team Estrade: How important is India for UCWeb? Is the market similar to other geographies?
Kenny Ye: India remains our largest overseas market, our second headquarters and a key focus area.
India is a mobile-first market. Many first time users are skipping the PC and fixed-internet connections to go online on their mobiles. This is especially the case in lower-tier cities and rural areas. And so, unlike users in developed markets, many Indian users are new in the mobile world without knowing how to discover content, services and apps. With an average internet penetration rate of roughly 19%, it is the untapped segment that presents a massive opportunity for any company here. The non-Internet user population is overwhelmingly rural and a high proportion is illiterate and female. Attracting these to use mobile internet will be a big challenge going forward.
According to our Survey, over 65% of UC Browser users are using a smartphone less than Rs 10,000. Although, changing pricing trends in smart-phones mean that more intuitive devices will be increasingly accessible. Users in non-metros face issues of weak connectivity and slow browsing speeds. Also, an average user wants to save cost on data browsing and downloading. Our cloud computing technology is one of our greatest strengths in this area. This allows users to compress data by up to 60%, boosting browsing speed. This is a huge positive for users around the world who use capped data plans, both on their mobiles and desktops.
“India is a mobile-first market. Many first time users are skipping the PC and fixed-internet connections to go online on their mobiles”
- Team Estrade: What is the market share of UCWeb? Is it abbreviated due competition and entry of other players?
Kenny Ye: As of Dec 2015, we are the No.1 third-party mobile browser in India with a market share of over 54%, according to global research firm StatCounter. As of today, every second page viewed on the mobile in India is generated through UC Browser. We have seen staggering success in the Indian market with a market share rise of steep 15% in last 12 months alone. We are also one of the few players that can boast of over 100 million daily active users worldwide.
Besides being the No.1 mobile browser in China (with over 65% of the market share) and India, we are also very popular in Indonesia. In fact, we are No.1 in that market as well. That’s to say, we have dominated mobile browser market in the three most populous emerging countries on the planet. All these three countries have a total population of 2.8 billion, accounting for over one third of the world’s population.
We were the first mobile browser to introduce cloud computing technology back in the year 2004. UC Browser has been able to achieve industry-leading web page loading speed. With more people accessing internet on their mobile phones, we have developed an easy-to-use navigation.
- Team Estrade: Are you looking at different monetisation models for markets like India?
Kenny Ye: Also part of the UCWeb stable is UC Union – a global traffic platform that has a vast distribution network and abundant campaign offers. We have been part of mobile traffic operations for the last 7 years, almost since the beginning of the smartphone era.
UC Union is not just an ad network, it’s a traffic operating platform based on Alibaba. It provides partners with an opportunity to cooperate directly with Alibaba. UC Union has reached 100,000 accumulated partners this year with roughly 4000 daily campaigns and 50 billion monthly ad requests.
- Team Estrade: What kind of innovation on Android UCWeb is undertaking in coming years?
Kenny Ye: We have emerged as the top competitor in the browser space. UC Browser is now faster and smoother than ever before. And it is safe, smart and scalable.
We are also focusing on products beyond UC Browser. We have announced the launch of UC Open Platform 2.0 in India – an all-in-one platform where players of mobile internet can engage with each other. UC Open Platform is a full-suit promotion and monetization platform that every player in mobile internet market can find a bespoke solution to their problems and benefit from the growing community. This will help app developers, content and services providers to reach local users.
9Apps and 9Game are one of the most popular Android marketplaces globally with a huge audience base as well as an abundant and varied app repository for apps and games. In 2014, we also ventured into India’s mobile gaming scene with the launch of the mobile UC Crazy Run.
“Every second page viewed on the mobile in India is generated through UC Browser”
- Team Estrade: What technology trends are likely to transform our industry over the next 5 years?
Kenny Ye: Few technologic advancements have had such a profound effect on the way we live, work, play and socialize as mobile devices.
We are likely to see a big shift in mobile search. With so much data available, and so many past browsing habits to draw from, we are likely to see highly contextualized search results. Results that use help of third-party apps to not just recommend a particular product, but find it in the customer’s preferred color, size, location, price range and much more. Also, mobile payments are on the rise around the globe. I expect this trend to take the mobile Internet by storm in the coming quarters. 360° Video is another trend I am bullish on. It will give users complete control over what they want to view and from what angle. Online shopping is likely to get a complete overhaul, giving consumers a real-time perspective about the products they are going to buy. In emerging markets, burgeoning smartphone and mobile Internet usage will fuel rise of regional and localised apps and games.
While we strived to keep up with breakthroughs in 2015, I expect 2016 to bring in seismic shifts.
- Team Estrade: Forward looking what is UCWeb plan ahead for Indian Market?
Kenny Ye: Currently our focus is to enhance our user base across the globe. We have made significant localisation efforts to cater to each market, including synergistic tie-ups that add value to our users.
Our success and adoption rate in India has been quick and very encouraging so far. We look to sustain our leadership position in India and target greater traction from Tier II & III cities going forward. We aim to add more features to cater to the Indian customer better. Going forward, we want to continue focusing on localisation of the product, drive deeper content and service integration and add more features that cater to our consumers’ need
UCWeb: We are #1 third-party mobile browser in India