Country bans TikTok citing impact on 'social harmony'

Several countries, including the UK have previously banned the app on government phones. Credit: AP

Nepal’s government has announced an immediate ban on TikTok, citing that it was disrupting “social harmony” in the country.

The popular social media platform, which has around a billion monthly users, has previously faced widespread scrutiny over concerns the app harvests user data.

“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,” Foreign Minister Narayan Prakash Saud said following a Cabinet meeting on Monday.

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.

Nepal's Foreign Minister Narayan Prakash Saud announced the country's decision on Monday. Credit: AP

It is not yet clear what triggered the ban or if TikTok had refused to comply with Nepal's requests, but the app has not commented on the decision.

ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, has previously been criticised for colluding with the country's government - a claim it fervently rejects.

Countries including the UK, US and New Zealand have banned the app on government phones. 

"I think when it comes to government information, it's of course important that we take security really seriously with sensitive government information. I think that's perfectly normal," Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told ITV News following the ban back in March.

"We think it's a proportionate response to the challenge that is posed and is a response that is in line with most of our other ally countries [...] given the security concerns we have".

ITV News has approached TikTok for comment.

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