The Chinese-owned site has fought a series of legal battles with religious activists and authorities in the Muslim nation, and was shut down for two days earlier this month on the order of a provincial court.

Pakistan has banned TikTok for the fourth time.
Pakistan has banned TikTok for the fourth time. (AP)

The popular TikTok video-sharing app was blocked in Pakistan for a fourth time because of "inappropriate content", the country's telecommunication regulator said. 

The Chinese-owned site has fought a series of legal battles with religious activists and authorities in the Muslim nation, and was shut down for two days earlier this month on the order of a provincial court.

Freedom of speech advocates have long criticised creeping government censorship and control of Pakistan's internet and media.

"The action has been taken due to the continuous presence of inappropriate content on the platform and its failure to take such content down," the telecoms authority said in a statement on Wednesday.

A local TikTok representative did not immediately comment.

The app has a huge fan base in Pakistan, where many people use it to market and sell goods online.

Digital rights activists have criticised the decision, saying a vast majority of users come from small towns and villages who have used their creativity to make followers. 

“The truth is that TikTok is a platform that is most user-friendly and its video-based interface does not demand literacy for one to set up an account and create content with the potential to go viral,” wrote Usama Khilji, director of a digital advocacy forum Bolo Bhi in Pakistan. 

TikTok automatically takes down most of the sexually explicit content and what Pakistani authorities are doing amounts to “moral policing”, he said. 

READ MORE: TikTok to clamp down on content that violates policy

On the other hand, conservatives who oppose TikTok say it promotes vulgarity and LGBTQ content.

In June, TikTok said it had removed more than six million videos available to Pakistan users in just three months following complaints from officials and ordinary users.

Around 15 percent of the videos removed were taken down because of "adult nudity and sexual activities", the company said.

Officials have previously asked YouTube to block content they deem objectionable, and several dating apps are prohibited.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies