Pakistan has blocked video-sharing app TikTok for the fourth time, citing "inappropriate content", the country's telecommunication regulator said on Wednesday.
"The action has been taken due to continuous presence of inappropriate content on the platform and its failure to take such content down," the telecoms authority said in a statement.
The social media app has a huge fan base in the country, with people using it to market and sell their products online. However, it has fought a series of legal battles with religious activists and authorities in the country, who believe that it promotes vulgarity and LGBTQ content.
The app was banned for the first time in the country in October 2020 following complaints of indecent and immoral content. The ban was, however, lifted within two weeks after TikTok gave an assurance of taking strict action against inappropriate content. The app was again banned in March for the same reasons.
Earlier this month, the Chinese-owned platform was blocked for two days in the country following a ruling by a Sindh court hearing a private citizen's petition, which alleged that it was promoting crime.
Small anti-TikTok rallies were also held against what protesters called the spreading of homosexual content on the platform.
"We have grown our local-language moderation capacity for Pakistan and work diligently to review and take action on content in violation of our community guidelines," a TikTok said in a statement earlier this month.
Meanwhile, last month, TikTok said it had removed over six million videos available to Pakistan users after receiving complaints from officials and ordinary users.
Around 15% of the videos removed were taken down because of "adult nudity and sexual activities", the company said in June.
TikTok was banned in India on June 29, 2020, because it “engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order," the country's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology stated.