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Pakistan 'Conditionally' Unblocks TikTok

FILE - A user opens social media app TikTok on his cellphone, in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 21, 2020.

Pakistan says it has lifted a ban on short-videosharing platform TikTok after receiving assurances the company would block “vulgar” and “unlawful” content for viewing in the majority-Muslim nation.

The move comes 10 days after state regulator Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) temporarily blocked access to the popular platform on the grounds of “indecent/immoral content” and its “negative effects on the society.”

The PTA defended the decision at the time, saying it had given the company repeated official warnings and "considerable time" to respond to the concerns.

“The restoration of TikTok is strictly subject to the condition that the platform will not be used for spread of vulgarity/indecent content, and societal values will not be abused,” a PTA announcement said Monday. “PTA will be constrained to permanently block the application in case said condition is not fulfilled,” it warned.

The regulator noted that TikTok’s senior management assured that it would put in place an effective monitoring mechanism to prevent TikTok from disseminating “the unlawful” material.

There was no immediate reaction from TikTok, which is owned by China-based ByteDance, to the restoration of its services. The platform had criticized the ban as “disappointing."

Pakistan is not the only country where the social media platform has come under pressure.

Neighboring India has blocked access to TikTok and dozens of other apps developed by Chinese companies, citing cybersecurity concerns.

TikTok is also under scrutiny in the United States, the biggest market by revenue for the company.