TikTok has agreed to open an office in Kenya and remove offensive posts for users in the country, President William Ruto said after a virtual call with the app’s CEO, Shou Zi Chew.
The short-form video-hosting service has been in the spotlight in recent months in the East African nation over its content, and Kenya's parliament received a petition this month to ban TikTok in the country for promoting "inappropriate" behaviour.
"Kenya will work with the short-form video hosting service TikTok in reviewing and monitoring its content to ensure that it adheres to the agreed community guidelines and standards," Ruto said on X, formerly known as Twitter, after the call with Chew.
Ruto added that Chew "also agreed to set up an office in Kenya to coordinate its operations in the region", but no further details of the new venture were given.
The president previously said that Kenyans make as much as $3.5 million per month from platforms such as TikTok, YouTube and X. He then pledged to speak to TikTok's CEO to help reduce negative content on the platform.
Chew pledged to hire Kenyans to work for the platform, a statement posted on X by the president's office said.
"This new development means that inappropriate or offensive content will be expunged from the platform," the president’s office said, adding that content on the platform will adhere to guidelines set with Kenyan officials.
The Speaker of Kenya's parliament had last week asked the Public Petitions Committee of the house to investigate TikTok following the petition by a private citizen to ban it in Kenya.
The petitioner had also - without providing evidence - said the app was sharing its users’ information with a third-party company without their consent, and asked parliament to intervene and take immediate action to safeguard Kenyans by banning TikTok.
(Editing by Seban Scaria firstname.lastname@example.org)