Pakistan has banned the popular short video app TikTok in the nation, citing the distribution of videos it deemed "immoral and indecent".
The move comes months after the South Asian country raised serious concerns about the nature of some of the videos on the ByteDance app and its impact on society.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, the country's telecommunications authority, said in a statement Friday evening that, despite the warnings and months of time, TikTok "did not follow instructions as to why instructions were given to block the TikTok application in the country". The agency has received "a number of complaints from various sectors of society" about the videos, it said.
Some people in Pakistan, a nation of around 75 million internet users, told TechCrunch that the TikTok app and its website were already inaccessible to them.
"TikTok has been informed that the agency is open to engagement and will review its decision subject to a satisfactory mechanism by TikTok to moderate illegal content," the Pakistani Telecommunications Authority said in a statement.
The move from Pakistan comes months after its neighbor India banned TikTok, Bigo and 57 other apps developed by Chinese firms over cybersecurity concerns. Prior to the ban, TikTok identified India – where it had over 200 million monthly active users – as its largest market outside of China. As in India, TikTok is also very popular in Pakistan, said the Dane Khalid, a senior executive at Bykea, a startup based in Karachi.
And then there is the USA, the market with the highest sales for TikTok, where the future of the app remains uncertain.