Alibaba Group and UCWeb jointly announced that UCWeb will be fully integrated into Alibaba Group to become the mobile business cluster of this Chinese e-commerce group.
With the acquisition, Yu Yongfu, chairman and chief executive officer of UCWeb will be president of the mobile business cluster. Meanwhile, he will enter the strategy committee of Alibaba Group.
Basing on UCWeb, Alibaba's UCWeb mobile business cluster is a new business cluster following its e-commerce business cluster and cloud computing big data business cluster. Apart from the existing UCWeb team, this new business cluster will integrate Alibaba's other related businesses and teams in the future, covering browser, mobile search, location-based services, mobile gaming, app store and mobile reader services.
Public files show that prior to this acquisition, Alibaba already held a 66% stake in UCWeb. By acquiring the remaining one-third stake, Alibaba gained full control of UCWeb.
Founded in 2004, UCWeb gained USD4 million angel investment from Lei Jun in 2006. In 2007, the company gained USD10 million from Ceyuan and Morningside Ventures. In June 2009, UCWeb accepted about USD12 million strategic investments from Alibaba, Ceyuan and Morningside Ventures. In March 2010, the company gained new investment from Nokia Growth Partners.
In May 2014, Alibaba Group revealed in its prospectus that the group made USD506 million strategic investment, which was about CNY3.13 billion, in UCWeb in March 2013. In December 2013, the group made USD180 million additional cash investment in the company.