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TikTok logo seen on a smartphone on September 22, 2023
Nepal decided to ban TikTok because the popular short video app was disrupting social structures in the South Asian nation, government officials say.
TO Several countries have imposed restrictions on the use of Tiktok, which is owned by Chinese tech giant Bytedance and has more than a billion monthly active users, while India has banned it entirely.
“Considering how TikTok is disturbing 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, Minister of Information and Communications Technology of Nepal. , at a press conference on Monday.
CNN has reached out to TikTok for comment.
On Tuesday, Nepali 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 both the ruling party and the opposition,” he said.
Purushottam Khanal, chairman of the Telecommunication Authority, has asked internet service providers to cut off access to the app, Nepal State Television said in a report on Monday.
WorldLink Communications, which is considered the country’s largest Internet service provider, 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 related to TikTok had been recorded in Nepal over the past four years, contributing to the “growing demand” to control 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 approximately 120 million users in the country, one of the app’s largest markets.
The United States and its Five Eyes intelligence alliance partners (Australia, Great Britain, Canada and New Zealand) have imposed restrictions on the use of TikTok on devices issued to government workers.
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 would have to be removed from federal government devices.