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Nepal bans Chinese video app TikTok in a bid to 'stop soaring hatred in society'

The decision comes as another setback for the Chinese networking platform, which has come under scrutiny in various countries, including India, the US, the European Union and the UK, where the governments have banned the application from its network over security concerns.

Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Kathmandu Published on: November 13, 2023 17:03 IST
TikTok App
Image Source : AP TikTok App (Representational)

The Nepal government decided to ban the Chinese-owned social network platform Tiktok, citing its negative effects on social harmony. According to government spokesperson and Minister for Communication and Information Technology, Rekha Sharma, Monday's Cabinet meeting decided to prohibit TikTok's use.

The decision to ban Tiktok will be implemented through the Ministry of Communication and IT, she said. The Nepal government decided to ban Tiktok due to its negative effects on social harmony, The Kathmandu Post newspaper reported.

Govt says TikTok promotes hatred in society

A Cabinet meeting on Thursday made it mandatory for social media sites such as Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), TikTok and YouTube, among others, to open their liaison offices in Nepal.

Although freedom of expression is a basic right, a large section of society has criticised TikTok for encouraging a tendency of hate speech, the government said.

In the past four years, 1,647 cases of cybercrime have been reported on the video-sharing app, the report said.

The Cyber Bureau of the Nepal Police, Ministry of Home Affairs, and representatives of TikTok discussed the issue earlier last week. Monday’s decision is expected to be enforced following the completion of technical preparations, it said. Sharma clarified the decision to shut down Tiktok will be implemented promptly by setting a specific deadline.

Nepali Opposition criticises govt's decision

However, Nepali Congress General Secretary Gagan Thapa expressed reservations about the decision.

“The government’s decision to ban Tiktok is wrong; the government should regulate the social media site,” ruling party leader Thapa said on X.

“The government’s decision should be rectified as it violates freedom of expression and individual freedom,” he pointed out.

The decision comes as another setback for the Chinese networking platform, which has come under scrutiny in various countries, including India, the US, the European Union and the UK, where the governments have banned the application from its network over security concerns.

It is worth mentioning the decision came nearly a month after Nepali Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal visited Beijing and held a crucial meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping where the latter promised to provide support to the IT industry and infrastructure.

(With inputs from agency)

Also Read: Govt permits Patanjali Ayurveda to ship non-basmati rice as donation to Nepal for earthquake victims

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