Posts on Facebook and Twitter, which have been shared hundreds of times, claim that Pakistan would block music video app TikTok from January 10, 2019. TikTok said the claim was false; Pakistan’s telecoms regulator said it was not responsible for any ban, and the app was still on the market within the country days after the ban supposedly came into effect.
This January 6, 2019 Facebook post says: “Tiktok will be illegal in Pakistan from January 10 #PTA,” relating the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority.
Another January 7, 2019 Facebook post says: “Change has come, change has come. Social media app Tiktok will be shut down in Pakistan from January 10: Prime Minister Imran Khan: Sources.”
A Pakistani technology blog conjointly reported that the app would be banned from January 10, 2019.
The claims about the TikTok ban have additionally been posted widely on Twitter, for example here.
“PTA is going to ban TikTok in Pakistan. A person from Nowshera filed a report against this app on PM IK’s portal & gov took an immediate action to put a ban on this app,” the tweet says.
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority told AFP they weren’t working on a ban of TikTok. “PTA doesn’t deal with apps,” PTA official Zaib-un-Nisa told AFP.
The government has made no other public announcements regarding any ban on TikTok.
TikTok told AFP that reports of a ban of the app in Pakistan were incorrect.
“The rumors seem to be malicious, factually incorrect and fake news. TikTok is in normal use in Pakistan. We’ve not received any notice regarding shutting down TikTok in Pakistan,” they said in a company statement sent to AFP by the TikTok global communications team in Beijing.
“TikTok representatives have checked with multiple sources within the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and it seems that no such complaints have come within the information of those PTA sources.”
“We have reached out to the PTA to establish a direct channel of communication going forward. We’ve also initiated proceedings against what appears to be the initial source of the fake news. If the fake news isn’t withdrawn, we reserve the right to take further legal action,” TikTok said within the emailed statement.