Kathmandu: The Nepal government on Monday decided to ban the Chinese-owned social network platform Tiktok, citing its negative effects on social harmony.
According to government spokesperson and Minister for Communication and Information Technology, Rekha Sharma, Monday's Cabinet meeting decided to prohibit TikTok's use.
The decision to ban Tiktok will be implemented through the Ministry of Communication and IT, she said.
The Nepal government decided to ban Tiktok due to its negative effects on social harmony, The Kathmandu Post newspaper reported.
A Cabinet meeting on Thursday 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.
Although freedom of expression is a basic right, a large section of society has criticised TikTok for encouraging a tendency of hate speech, the government said. In the past four years, 1,647 cases of cybercrime have been reported on the video-sharing app, the report said.
The Cyber Bureau of the Nepal Police, Ministry of Home Affairs, and representatives of TikTok discussed the issue earlier last week. Monday’s decision is expected to be enforced following the completion of technical preparations, it said.
Sharma clarified the decision to shut down Tiktok will be implemented promptly by setting a specific deadline.
However, Nepali Congress General Secretary Gagan Thapa expressed reservations about the decision.
“The government’s decision to ban Tiktok is wrong; the government should regulate the social media site,” ruling party leader Thapa said on X.
टिकटक बन्द गर्ने निर्णय गरेर सरकार उल्टो कदम हिँडेको छ।— Gagan Thapa (@thapagk) November 13, 2023
सामाजिक सञ्जालको दुरुपयोग गर्नेलाई निरुत्साहित गर्न नियमन आवश्यक छ तर सामाजिक सञ्जाललाई नियमन गर्ने नाममा बन्द गरिनु सरासर गलत हो। यो एउटा सामाजिक सञ्जाल बन्द गर्ने नगर्ने भन्दा पनि यो सरकारको नियतको विषय हो। यसमा सरकारको…
“The government’s decision should be rectified as it violates freedom of expression and individual freedom,” he pointed out.
The decision comes as another setback for the Chinese networking platform, which has come under scrutiny in various countries, including India, the US, the European Union and the UK, where the governments have banned the application from its network over security concerns.