Pakistan’s media regulatory agency is restoring access to the Chinese video service after a court banned it last month for “vulgar” content.
Pakistan has lifted a second ban on TikTok for “immoral and unethical” content after the popular video-sharing app again offered to moderate uploads.
A court in the northwestern city of Peshawar last month ordered the communications regulator to block the app on videos deemed contrary to the moral values of the conservative country.
During the hearing, a senior agency official, Tariq Gandapur, said contact had been made with TikTok to ensure those sharing “vulgar” content were blocked.
The app, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, has been downloaded nearly 39 million times in Pakistan.
“The app assured us that it would filter and moderate the content,” Jahanzeb Mehsud, a lawyer for the Pakistan Telecommunications Agency, told AFP.
The Chinese-owned platform – hugely popular among young Pakistanis, especially in rural areas – had also agreed to moderate content after the first brief ban in October.
One of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s advisers criticized him for promoting the “exploitation, objectification and sexualization” of young girls.
TikTok welcomed the lifting of the ban.
“We are delighted that TikTok is once again available to our community in Pakistan,” he said in a statement, adding that he was “committed to promoting a safe and positive online community.”
Free speech advocates have long criticized rampant government censorship and control of the internet and print and broadcast media in Pakistan.
Last year, Pakistani regulators asked YouTube to immediately block access to any videos they deemed “objectionable” in the country, a request criticized by rights campaigners.
Pakistan and China are close allies in the region.