Nepal’s government made the decision to prohibit the widely used social media application, TikTok, on Monday, citing its disruptive impact on “social harmony” within the nation.
The announcement came after a Cabinet meeting, during which Foreign Minister Narayan Prakash Saud declared an immediate ban on the app. According to Saud, the government deemed it necessary to regulate the usage of TikTok due to its role in disturbing social harmony, and goodwill, and the dissemination of inappropriate content.
In an effort to hold social media platforms accountable, the government has called upon companies to register, establish a liaison office in Nepal, pay taxes, and adhere to the country’s laws and regulations.
The exact cause of the ban remains unclear, and it is uncertain whether TikTok declined to comply with Nepal’s requests. The company did not provide an immediate response to an email seeking comment.
TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance, has encountered scrutiny in various countries amid concerns that Beijing could exploit the app for data harvesting or to advance its interests. Despite TikTok repeatedly denying any data sharing with the Chinese government and asserting a commitment to user privacy, several countries, including the United States, Britain, and New Zealand, have prohibited the app on government phones.
Notably, Nepal had previously banned all pornographic sites in 2018.