Browser Hijack: Opera Software Accuses UCWeb Of Shady Practice

Opera Mini and UC Browser are undoubtedly rivals and this has been going on for years. One of the reasons people choose either of these browsers is data compression and fast downloads. The companies behind the two mobile browsers target the same markets, both have the same goals, hence the rivalry.
Photo credit: Don Caprio / Geek NG

In a recent blog post, Opera Software accused UCWeb of shady practices. Malicious ads have been showing on Opera Mini and Opera for Android linking to UC Browser download page. This was reported by Opera Mini users and this ad in particular sometimes hijack the browser, filling up the screen with an alert that your browser is unsafe.

The ad may even feature a call-to-action that leads to UC Browser Play Store page.

Photo credit: Opera Software

If this particular ad was actually sponsored by UCWeb, then it’s rather unethical. This annoying ad will even make your phone vibrate and make loud noises. According to Opera Software:

At Opera, we play clean. We do not hijack others’ properties in an attempt to trick people into downloading our browsers and apps. We work to bring a safe internet experience to all. So far, we have seen no action from the UC Browser team to remove these unethical webpages.

It appears Opera Software has already reported this to Google:

We will not just stand by and let people smear our products and scare our users. We will continue talking to Google about this situation, and we are calling on UC Browser for its help in stopping these malicious ads.

This kind of unethical advert will only damage the brand UCWeb has built over the years. Tricking users into downloading UC Browser through malicious ads isn’t the way to go. Since UCWeb is yet to respond, the possibility that this advert might be run by a third party can’t be ignored.
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