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TikTok fails to fully comply with local laws: Malaysia minister

KUALA LUMPUR: TikTok has not done enough to curb defamatory or misleading content in Malaysia, the communications minister said on Thursday (Oct 12), adding that the short video application had also failed to comply with several, unspecified local laws.

In a social media message posted after meeting TikTok representatives, Minister Fahmi Fadzil said TikTok also had to address issues related to content distribution and advertising purchases following complaints.

He said TikTok had assured him it would cooperate with the government and that its shortcomings were due to not having a representative in Malaysia at present.

Fahmi did not give any further details in the post.

A spokesperson for TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the meeting or the minister’s remarks.

TikTok, owned by Chinese firm ByteDance, has recently come under scrutiny in Southeast Asia, where Indonesia’s government last week halted transactions on its platform following a ban on e-commerce trade on social media and as Vietnam probes the app for “toxic” content.

Malaysia has increased scrutiny of online content in recent months as Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s administration vowed to curb what it deems provocative posts that touch on race, religion and royalty.

Earlier this year, the Malaysian government said it would take legal action against Facebook’s parent company Meta for violating the Communications and Multimedia Act, but dropped the plan after meetings with the company.

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