A Chinese software startup has become a laughing stock on Chinese social media after claiming to have developed China’s first fully homegrown browser only to be promptly exposed for copying Google.
On Wednesday, the startup, AllMobilize Inc., unveiled its Redcore web browser to the public, boasting that it was the world’s first and only fully “made in China” browser and would come to smash the US monopoly on software. The company announced that in the latest round of fundraising it had raised a cool 250 million yuan ($36) from investors that included government agencies.
However, the company’s claims did not manage to survive even the slightest scrutiny. When investigating the software, Chinese web users discovered some peculiarities in Redcore’s “homegrown technology,” including compressed “chrome.exe” installation files, a slew of chrome urls, and even image files of Google Chrome’s logo.
In response to the controversy, AllMobilize founder Chen Benfeng has admitted that Redcore is indeed based on Google Chrome but stressed that its core technology includes important independent innovations that improve upon Chrome’s software. He also added that his company is certainly not trying to swindle national funds by targeting government agencies.
Redcore is now no longer available to download from the company’s website.