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Nepal bans TikTok because it disrupts the country's 'social harmony'

TikTok, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, has faced increased scrutiny.
TikTok, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, has faced increased scrutiny. Copyright Kiichiro Sato/AP
Copyright Kiichiro Sato/AP
By Associated Press
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Nepal becomes the latest country to ban the social media app after countries such as the US, UK and New Zealand banned its use on government devices.

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Nepal’s government decided to ban the popular social media app TikTok on Monday, saying it was disrupting “social harmony” in the country.

The announcement was made following a Cabinet meeting. The country's foreign minister Narayan Prakash Saud said the app would be banned immediately.

"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.

He said that to make social media platforms accountable, the government has asked the companies to register and open a liaison office in Nepal, pay taxes, and abide by the country's laws and regulations.

It wasn't clear what triggered the ban or if TikTok had refused to comply with Nepal's requests. The company did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance, has faced scrutiny in a number of countries because of concerns that Beijing could use the app to harvest user data or advance its interests. 

Countries including the United States, Britain, and New Zealand have banned the app on government phones despite TikTok repeatedly denying that it has ever shared data with the Chinese government and would not do so if asked.

Nepal has banned all pornographic sites in 2018.

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