Google seeks permission to open another office in Pakistan

Google is seeking permission to open another office in Pakistan. Google is the largest search engine and video-sharing platform in the world. The company is planning to open a liaison office in Pakistan. Whereas Twitter and Facebook have stated they cannot open offices in Pakistan soon.

The global juggernaut has already registered itself as a company in Pakistan. IT and Telecom Minister Syed Aminul Haque announced recently that Google is trying to enter Pakistan and open its offices here. Google is scheduled to send a delegation from Singapore to Pakistan early next week. Google will soon announce the opening of a functioning office here. TikTok has also agreed to open a liaison office in Pakistan. Google, however, has already taken the lead in this race. The Company has already registered with the Karachi registry of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).

The Removal and Blocking of Unlawful Online Content (Procedure, Oversight, and Safeguards) Rules 2021 state that a prerequisite for the establishment of the office is registration. As soon as TikTok and Google register and establish offices, the social media platforms must adhere to Pakistani laws and regulations. To ensure that the data is secure, the rules also mandate that social media platforms must have their servers in Pakistan. The IT minister expressed optimism that more social media companies would open offices in Pakistan. 

However, Twitter and Meta have so far shown hesitation. A senior executive of one of the country’s telecom companies claimed that both Twitter and Meta were going through radical organizational changes. He said that these companies had let go of a significant number of staff members. Moreover, the executive said that they are not expecting any headway in discussions with Meta and Twitter. Sources in the telecom sector, however, claim something else. According to the sources despite the IT ministry’s assurances of a business-friendly environment. 

Meta and Twitter were reluctant to open offices in Pakistan because of the country’s inconsistent policies. These policies had created mistrust among them. Meanwhile, foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari visited the Asia Pacific headquarters of Meta (Facebook) in Singapore on Friday. He was there to launch the “Stars Program” for monetization in Pakistan. The program will help develop the skills of young businesspeople for Pakistan’s expanding community of Meta content creators.

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