Pakistan Bans TikTok after Accumulating 43 Million Installs

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Pakistani regulators decided to block the popular video app TikTok in the country, citing the company’s inability to policing the service’s immoral and indecent content.

TikTok, owned by Chinese technology company ByteDance Ltd., has a significant user base in Pakistan. The app has been installed almost 43 million times in the country. This year alone, TikTok gained 14.7 million users from Pakistan, according to data from research firm SensorTower. In fact, this makes Pakistan the twelfth most extensive market for TikTok. By comparison, the United States has had more than 200 million downloads, according to SensorTower.

A TikTok spokeswoman said the company is in constant communication with Pakistani authorities and removes content that violates their policies in all markets where it operates. The company’s transparency report shows that it removed nearly 6.5 million videos in Pakistan between January and June, the third-largest of any country after India and the United States. The same report shows that the Pakistani government made four requests to TikTok for content, citing 40 user accounts. Furthermore, only two of those accounts faced condemnation. 

The country is ready to reverse the ban if TikTok complies with its regulations

Pakistan, one of China’s close allies, is joining a wave of countries that are opposing the enforcement. Over the summer, India banned TikTok as part of a broad purge of Chinese apps. Indonesia, Egypt, and Bangladesh have also taken steps to restrict TikTok.

President Donald Trump is pushing to ban TikTok if ByteDance does not agree to deliver the app to US owners in early November. Oracle Corp. and Walmart Inc. have decided to buy a minority stake. Moreover,  although Trump approved the deal in concept, the resolution of many of the details remain.

The TikTok spokeswoman said the company hopes to return the app to Pakistan to avoid bans elsewhere. He stated that TikTok is an inclusive platform built on the foundation of creative expression.
In fact, he keeps hoping to reach a conclusion that will allow the platform to serve the country’s creative and dynamic community.

Above all, the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority stated that it issued instructions for the blockade. However, it is willing to reverse the ban if TikTok complies with its orders. TikTok was informed that the Authority is ready to speak and will review its decision subject to a satisfactory mechanism by TikTok on moderating illegal content, the agency said.

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