July 5, 2018 / 5:56 AM / 18 days ago

Chinese video app Tik Tok to set up Indonesia censor team to overturn ban: report

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Chinese video app Tik Tok, the most downloaded app globally on Apple Inc’s app store in January-March, will set up a team of censors in Indonesia to overturn a ban imposed for “inappropriate content”, local media reported on Thursday.

The app is popular among young people for its homemade music videos. But access was blocked on Tuesday by authorities in Indonesia, home to the world’s biggest Muslim population, for featuring content deemed pornographic and blasphemous.

Minister of Communication and Informatics Rudiantara told Reuters that the ban was temporary and could be lifted after Tik Tok cleaned up its content.

“We’ve asked Tik Tok to build a system that filters negative content and want them to have a liaison office in Indonesia,” the minister said on Thursday.

Tik Tok is operated by venture-capitalist backed Toutiao, one of China’s fastest-growing technology startups valued at over $30 billion, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

A Toutiao spokesperson told media on Wednesday that Tik Tok would set up a team of 20 censors in Indonesia charged with monitoring and sanitizing content.

The firm’s vice president, Zhen Liu, was quoted by newspaper Tempo as saying Toutiao would add up to 200 employees to Tik Tok’s Indonesia office by the end of the year.

Rudiantara would not confirm to Reuters whether the changes would be sufficient to lift the ban.

Reuters could not reach Toutiao or Tik Tok for comment on Thursday.

Reporting by Cindy Silviana & Fanny PotkinEditing by Christopher Cushing

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