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Nepal bans TikTok due to ‘disruption’ of social harmony

Monika Skolimowska/dpa/photo alliance/Getty Images

The TikTok logo seen on a smartphone on September 22, 2023

London/Hong Kong

Nepal decided to ban TikTok because the popular short-video app was disrupting social structures in the South Asian country, according to government officials.

A A number of countries have imposed restrictions on the use of Tiktok, which is owned by Chinese tech giant Bytedance and has more than 1 billion monthly active users, while India has banned it completely.

“Considering how TikTok is disrupting our social harmony and the impact it is having on our family and social structures, the cabinet has decided to ban TikTok for the time being,” said Rekha Sharma, Nepal’s technology minister. of communication and information, during a press conference on April 13. Monday.

CNN has contacted TikTok for comment.

On Tuesday, Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal defended the decision at an event in the city of Bhaktapur.

“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 the ruling party and the opposition” , did he declare.

Purushottam Khanal, chairman of the Telecommunications Authority, has asked internet service providers to cut off access to the app, Nepalese national television said on Monday.

WorldLink Communications, which bills itself as the nation’s largest Internet service provider, has complied with the order and other providers are expected to follow soon, the report added.

Reuters reported, citing local media, that more than 1,600 cases of cybercrime linked to TikTok had been recorded over the past four years in Nepal, contributing to “growing demand” for control of the app.

The ban comes more than three years after India blocked Tiktok and several other well-known Chinese apps, saying they posed a “threat to sovereignty and integrity.” At the time, TikTok had around 120 million users in the country, one of the app’s largest markets.

The United States and its partners in the Five Eyes intelligence alliance – Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand – have imposed restrictions on the use of TikTok on devices issued to civil servants.

In February, the White House told federal agencies they had 30 days to remove TikTok from all government-issued devices. Australia announced in April that the app should be removed from federal government devices.

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