The most recent news coming out of social media in Pakistan is that the video-sharing platform TikTok will be opening a liaison office in Pakistan soon. According to IT and Telecom Minister Syed Aminul Haque, TikTok will be son opening doors to its office in Pakistan. As TikTok has recently gained popularity and is widely used by people of all age groups, this is a very positive step.
TikTok has experienced a number of bans in Pakistan over the years due to the sharing of controversial content, however, those bans were lifted after continuous engagement with TikTok management. It is evident that TikTok opening offices in Pakistan will have a positive impact on the case and the government will be easily able to reach out to the local TikTok management. There were also a number of complaints seen about unethical content on TikTok, which was also the reason behind the number of bans it getting banned numerous times. The IT minister said Amin Ul Haque said:
“TikTok will soon set up its office in Pakistan, companies remain reluctant due to lack of trust and inconsistent policies. The ministry will provide complete support to the foreign companies.”
Haque mentioned that the government wanted social media companies to establish offices in the country to coordinate and regulate in a better way. Influencers are excited about the development as thousands of content creators earn considerable amounts using TikTok. Despite its soaring fame across the globe, the platform also encountered several issues and has been banned nearly four times over inappropriate content.
Earlier, The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) registered Google as a company in Pakistan. A document issued by the SECP to Google over successful registration stated that Google Asia Pacific Pvt. Ltd incorporated in Singapore had established a liaison office in the country under Section 435 of the Companies Act 2017.
Google is the first tech conglomerate to take the step as the Pakistan government, under social media rules, made it mandatory for all social media companies including Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter to register themselves in the country as it would enable the government to exercise limits enacted under “Removal and Blocking of Unlawful Online Content (Procedure, Oversight, and Safeguards) Rules, 2021”.
Sources privy to the development said that Meta – Facebook’s parent company – might follow suit. Earlier, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari called on his Singaporean counterpart Dr. Vivan Balakrishnan in Singapore on the sidelines of the 29th Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum Ministerial Meeting in Phnom Penh.
During the meeting, the two leaders shed light on bilateral relations and agreed to enhance dialogue and cooperation. They also discussed the potential for bilateral trade and economic cooperation. They exchanged views on global and regional issues.
Bilawal Bhutto expressed admiration for Singapore’s development model and the lessons it offered to developing countries. The two foreign ministers also expressed support for the ASEAN-led process in the Asia Pacific.
To clarify, registration is the first step towards the establishment of the office, which is one of the requirements under the Removal and Blocking of Unlawful Online Content (Procedure, Oversight, and Safeguards) Rules 2021
“A delegation of Google is scheduled to come to Pakistan early next week from Singapore and the company will likely announce the establishment of a functional office here,” the IT Minister said.