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.
Yesterday evening, AllMobilize founder Chen Benfeng was forced to admit that Redcore was indeed based on Google Chrome, but stressed that its core technology includes important independent innovations that improve upon Chrome’s software.
Then, earlier this morning, Redcore issued a full apology, saying that there was a degree of “exaggeration” in its claims which had misled the public. “Our responsibility is undeniable. We really did make mistakes and solemnly apologize to everyone,” the company said.
In the official statement, Redcore explained that its browser had been based on the open-source Chromium project started by Google, but that it had more important innovations on top of Chrome’s architecture.
Redcore is now no longer available to download from the company’s website. However, the company claims that this is not because of the scandal, but because it was not able to handle the large number of download requests.