Nepal Bans TikTok for Disrupting Social Harmony
Nepal has banned China’s TikTok social media app because its content was detrimental to social harmony.
The decision comes days after the country introduced a new rule requiring social media firms to set up liaison offices in the country.
Minister for Communications and Information Technology Rekha Sharma has told the BBC Nepal that the platform spread malicious content.
She added that “the ban would come into effect immediately and telecom authorities have been directed to implement the decision”.
Earlier this year, Montana became the first United States to ban it while the United Kingdom parliament banned it from its network.
TikTok, which has around a billion monthly users, has been banned by several countries including India.
Pakistan has temporarily banned the app at least four times since October 2020 while its online shopping service was shut in Indonesia last month.
“The government has decided to ban TikTok as it was necessary to regulate the use of the social media platform that was disrupting social harmony, goodwill and flow of indecent materials,” Saud said.
He said that to make social media platforms accountable, the government has asked the companies to register and open a liaison office in Nepal, pay taxes and abide by the country’s laws and regulations.
It wasn’t clear what triggered the ban or if TikTok had refused to comply with Nepal’s requests. The company did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance, has faced scrutiny in a number of countries because of concerns that Beijing could use the app to harvest user data or advance its interests.
Countries including the United States, Britain and New Zealand have banned the app on government phones despite TikTok repeatedly denying that it has ever shared data with the Chinese government and would not do so if asked.
Nepal has banned all pornographic sites in 2018.