World

Pakistan bans TikTok after complaints of 'indecent' content

Pakistan has banned the popular video-sharing app TikTok. The country's telecommunication authority says it made the decision after numerous complaints about 'immoral' content.

Chinese tech company ByteDance's video-sharing platform left with blank interface after decision

Pakistan's telecommunication authority says it would review its decision against the video-sharing app if TikTok develops a mechanism to moderate content. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Pakistan has blocked the Chinese social media app TikTok, saying the company failed to fully comply with the instructions to develop an effective mechanism to control unlawful content.

In a statement, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority said Friday that it took the step after receiving complaints against "immoral and indecent" content on the video-sharing platform.

The PTA said that keeping in view the complaints and nature of the content being consistently posted on TikTok, the company that owns the video-sharing app, ByteDance Ltd., was issued a final notice and given considerable time to respond and comply with instructions and guidelines.

But TikTok "failed to fully comply with PTA's instructions," after which the authority decided to ban it in Pakistan.

Shortly after the ban, the app began to show a blank interface with no text or images loading.

Pakistan has close relations with China.

The telecommunication authority kept the door open for a return of TikTok, saying "it is open for engagement" and would review its decision if TikTok develops a mechanism to moderate the content.

It has been a target of several complaints and court petitions calling for its ban in Pakistan. In July, PTA said it had issued a "final warning" to TikTok to remove "obscene and immoral content."

The video-sharing app, which is owned by China's ByteDance, is the third-most downloaded app over the past year after WhatsApp and Facebook and has been downloaded almost 39 million times in Pakistan.

The app was earlier banned by India and the United States for violating guidelines.

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