Tech

Nepal bans TikTok over threat to ‘social cohesion’

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Nepal decided to ban TikTok, claiming that the app threatened social order.

The country’s information and communications technology minister, Rekha Sharma, told BBC Nepali that TikTok spreads malicious content.

“The ban will take effect immediately and telecom authorities have been ordered to implement the decision,” he said.

Nepali Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal defended the decision at an event in the city of Bhaktapur.

Nepal’s Prime Minister doubled down on the country’s decision to ban TikTok.
Hindustan Times via Getty Images

“After a long discussion on how to control the tendency to spread discord, disorder and chaos in society… a consensus was reached among all political parties, including both the ruling party and the opposition,” he said.

However, Gagan Thapa, leader of the Nepali Congress Party, which is part of the ruling coalition, said the government’s intention appeared to be “to stifle freedom of expression.”

“Regulation is necessary to deter those who abuse social media, but shutting down social media in the name of regulation is completely wrong,” he posted on X.

Gagan Thapa, leader of the Nepali Congress Party, which is part of the ruling coalition, said the government’s intention appeared to be “to stifle freedom of expression.”
UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Internet service providers have been asked to block access to the app. WorldLink Communications, which is considered Nepal’s largest internet service provider, complied and other providers are expected to follow soon, the government said.

Several countries have banned TikTok, which is owned by Chinese tech giant Bytedance and has more than one billion monthly users.

Nepal’s ban comes more than three years after India also banned TikTok, along with several other Chinese apps, with the justification that they posed a “threat to sovereignty and integrity.”

Nepal’s largest internet service provider, WorldLink Communications, urged other companies to cut off access to the app.
AP

At the time, TikTok had approximately 120 million users in the country, eliminating one of the app’s largest markets.

Other countries, including Australia, have banned TikTok on government devices due to spying concerns. Bytedance has long maintained that TikTok does not share data with the Chinese government.

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