NEPAL BANS CHINESE APP TIKTOK, CITES SECURITY CONCERNS
Kathmandu: The Nepal government on Monday announced a ban on the China-owned video sharing app TikTok, citing its negative efforts on social harmony, local media reported.
The country’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Rekha Sharma said that the decision to ban TikTok, was made during a recent cabinet meeting, The Kathmandu Post reported.
Sharma, who is also the government spokesperson, however said when the decision will be brought into force is yet to be ascertained.
According to the Kathmandu Post, the government said that although freedom of expression is a basic right, a large section of society has criticised TikTok for encouraging a tendency of hate speech.
In the past four years, 1,647 cases of cybercrime have been reported on the video sharing app, the daily reported.
As per the Nepal daily, the Cyber Bureau of the Nepal Police, the Ministry of Home Affairs, and representatives of TikTok discussed the issue earlier last week and the ban imposition decision is expected to be enforced following the completion of technical preparations.
The latest decision has come within days after the government introduced the ‘Directives on the Operation of Social Networking 2023’.
As per the new rule, social media platforms operating in Nepal required to set up their offices in the country.
On Thursday, the country 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.
The companies will have to establish either an office or appoint a focal person in Nepal within three months of the enforcement of the directives. They also have been mandated to register their social media platforms with the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, or face a shutdown.
The directives include a 19-point not-to-do list for users of platforms like Facebook, X, TikTok, YouTube and Instagram.
Meanwhile, in India, the government had in June 2020 banned TikTok along with several other Chinese apps, over national security concerns. Prior to the ban, the app had about 150 million monthly active users in India.
Moreover, concerning the security issues with the TikTok app, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Afghanistan, Denmark, Netherlands, New Zealand and Norway have imposed partial or complete bans respectively on the video sharing app.