Nepal bans Chinese short-video app TikTok for ‘encouraging hate speech’

The Nepal government has decided to impose a ban on Chinese short-form video app, TikTok, citing its negative effects on social harmony, local media reported on Monday. The decision to ban the Chinese app was taken at a Cabinet meeting which took place earlier in the day.

According to a Kathmandu Post report, the Nepal government said a large section of society criticised TikTok for encouraging a tendency of hate speech.

However, when the ban will be imposed is yet to be ascertained.

“The decision to ban TikTok will be implemented shortly, but no specific deadline has been set,” The Himalayan Times quoted Nepal’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Rekha Sharma, as saying.

The ban order comes days after the Nepal government made it mandatory for social media platforms such as Facebook, X (formerly known as Twitter), YouTube, TikTok and others to set up their offices in the country.

The decision was taken considering the increasing number of complaints about the absence of companies’ representatives in Nepal, making it difficult for the authorities to address users’ concerns and even to remove objectionable content from the platforms.

All social media platforms operating in the country must set up an office or designate a representative in Nepal within three months of the directives coming into effect.

Simultaneously, these companies are mandated to register their social media platforms with the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology. Failure to comply may result in the ministry shutting down platforms that lack proper registration within the Nepalese jurisdiction.

The short-video platform, owned by Chinese tech giant ByteDance, was banned in India on June 29, 2020 over national security issues.

The app was an instant success in India soon after it launched in September 2016. For TikTok, India was among the biggest markets outside China and, in 2019, the 15-second video platform was the top downloaded app in India on the Android platform.

Published By:

Sahil Sinha

Published On:

Nov 13, 2023

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