Pakistan’s telecom regulator has banned TikTok, claiming the app failed to remove “immoral” and “indecent” content. The ban comes just over a month after the regulator, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, banned dating apps, including Tinder and Grindr, for the same reason.
TikTok had been installed 43 million times in Pakistan, according to the analytics firm Sensor Tower. That made it the app’s 12th largest market in terms of installs. The firm estimates TikTok has been installed 2.2 billion times total across Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store.
The ban comes just a few months after TikTok was removed in India over concerns around the app’s Chinese ownership. The United States is still moving to ban TikTok over those same concerns. The ban itself is currently on hold due to a court order, but
The PTA also said it is “open for engagement and will review his decision subject to a satisfactory mechanism by TikTok to moderate unlawful content.” On Twitter, the PTA’s statement received mixed reactions, with the majority of replies lauding the decision while some criticized the department.
In March, the Pakistan government issued a notification through its Citizen Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules that require social media companies to “take due cognizance of the religious, cultural, ethnic and national security sensitivities of Pakistan.”
According to Nikkei, TikTok said it was “committed to following the law in markets where the app is offered” and that it’s regularly communicating with the PTA and continuing to work with them. A TikTok spokesperson told Engadget “We believe feeling safe helps people feel comfortable expressing themselves openly and allows creativity to flourish,” noting that it has “robust protections in place to support a safe and