Nepal became the latest country to ban video-sharing platform TikTok, saying that the popular app was disrupting “social harmony.”
Foreign Minister Narayan Prakash Saud said TikTok would be banned immediately following a Cabinet meeting on Monday, The Associated Press reported. He also said that the government has asked social media platforms to register and open a liaison office in the country, pay taxes and to follow the country’s laws and regulations, the AP noted.
“The government has decided to ban TikTok as it was necessary to regulate the use of the social media platform that was disrupting social harmony, goodwill and flow of indecent materials,” Saud said.
State-run media also reported Monday that Purushottam Khanal, chair of the country’s Telecommunications Authority, asked internet service providers to shut down access to TikTok in the country.
The Hill has reached out to TikTok for comment.
TikTok, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, has faced intense scrutiny over the past year due to cybersecurity concerns that the Chinese Communist Party could potentially access data from TikTok. Several countries have already banned the platform of government phones, including Britain, New Zealand and the United States.
Several states in the U.S. have also banned TikTok from government devices due to the cybersecurity concerns.
Some U.S. lawmakers have proposed legislation to effectively bar the app from operating in the U.S. entirely by imposing sanctions on ByteDance. TikTok has maintained that it is independent of China and not subject to any requests for data from Beijing, and that it is has taken steps to protect U.S. user data in particular.
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