A statement from the band's management said: "Zayn has been signed off with stress and is flying back to the UK to recuperate. The band wish him well and will continue with their performances in Manila and Jakarta."
No further details were given.
Zayn, 22, has had a difficult week after pictures emerged on him holding hands with a blonde female who wasn't his Little Mix fiancee Perrie Edwards.
He later took to Twitter to say: "I'm 22 years old... I love a girl named Perrie Edwards. And there's a lot of jealous f**ks in this world I'm sorry for what it looks like."
According to The Sun, he will miss three concerts before hopefully returning ahead of the Cape Town show on 28 March.
A source said the young popstar finds it harder dealing with the band's mega fame than Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne or Louis Tomlinson.
Yesterday's photos of him with a female friend were "the last straw", apparently. "He did nothing wrong but the amount of criticism he received was simply too much," a source said. "He needs to get away."
One Direction's next shows are two sold-out concerts in Manila, Philippines on 21 and 22 March, followed by a performance in Jakarta, Indonesia on 25 March.
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