Alibaba Mobile Business Group firm UCWeb plans to invest Rs 200 crore in India and Indonesia over the next two years to push distribution of user generated content through its UC News platform.
“We will invest Rs 200 crore over the period of 2 years in India and Indonesia to push user generated content like blogs, short videos, non conventional news feeds. Around 60 percent of it (Rs 120 crore) will be invested in India,” Kenny Ye, General Manager, Overseas Business for Alibaba Mobile Business Group told Pixr8.
He said that the earmarked investment does not include hiring and other business expenditure but will focus only on content generation and distribution.
“We will provide people with We Media platform where anyone can register and start publishing content. We are seeing huge traction for entertainment content in India,” Ye said.
According to a recent UC News study, India has 371 million mobile internet users with minuscule contribution from self publishers compared to 600 million mobile internet users in China with 20 million online content creators. UC Web has plans to add more than 30,000 self publishers, bloggers and key opinion leaders on its We-Media platform in 2017.
“Our aim is to make the UC We-media the number 1 platform in India and Indonesia for content consumption, creation and services. We-media will offer services like insights into topic that users would like to work on through big data analytics, artificial intelligence etc,” Ye said.
He dded that UC News will not generate content on its own but encourage users to do so. Earlier this month, UC News announced a detailed monetary compensation plan for content creation.
“We will have editors who will push content to consumers based on their customisation of news feed,” Ye said.
Apart from investment in content distribution and development platform, UC Web has plans to more than double its headcount in India from about 40 to 100 by March 31, 2017.
“In the next financial year, we will increase headcount in India by 50 percent,”Ye said. UC Web has crossed 100 million monthly active users in November 2016 and has 57 percent market share (as per stat counter) in Indian mobile browser segment.