The Nepalese regulatory authority has ordered the removal of TikTok from the networks of some internet service providers, providing continued access. During a meeting on 13 November 2023, the Nepalese government concluded that the negative impact of TikTok on peace in society and the social environment required an immediate ban on its use in Nepal.
This judgement, made under Section 15 of the Telecommunications Act 2053, authorised the Telecommunications Authority to instruct all relevant internet and mobile service providers to block TikTok from their networks.
Some internet service providers have been ordered to shut down immediately after allowing TikTok access in violation of the authority’s directive. Failure to follow these instructions may result in legal action under Section 47 of the Telecommunications Act of 2053.
The number of nations that have banned the video-sharing app TikTok has recently increased due to privacy, cybersecurity, and other concerns. TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese technology giant ByteDance, has been scrutinised in several countries for various reasons, frequently drawing attention to these countries.
Due to various concerns, several countries have either partially or completely blocked TikTok within their borders.
The Nepalese government has fast-tracked the process of potentially banning TikTok. According to Rekha Sharma, the government spokesperson, discussions are underway to immediately ban TikTok usage due to the negative impact of the network on social peace and the social environment caused by content published on the platform.
Decisions on this topic have been made by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in collaboration with the Cabinet. The public’s reaction to the government’s unexpected actions has been inconsistent.
Countries that banned TikTok
TikTok was announced to be banned in Afghanistan in April 2022. The Taliban enforced the ban owing to worries that the platform’s content violated Islamic norms, particularly anything that could negatively influence youth.
The Australian federal government banned the use of TikTok on government devices in April 2023, citing security concerns.
TikTok has been temporarily prohibited in Belgium since March 2023. TikTok is not permitted on federal government devices because it poses a risk to state security and cybersecurity.
Since February 2023, Canada has restricted the use of TikTok on government-issued smartphones, citing privacy and security concerns.
Denmark’s Ministry of Defence has banned its workforce from using TikTok on official phones since March 2023, with the exception of official purposes.
The European Union has restricted TikTok usage for its three main institutions and employees’ personal devices since March 2023, with the goal of removing the TikTok software even from personal devices used for business reasons.
Due to data security concerns, the French government has prevented government employees from using TikTok since March 2023.
TikTok and several other Chinese applications were banned by the Indian government in 2020 due to privacy and security concerns. In January 2021, the restriction became permanent.
Latvia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has prohibited TikTok usage on its devices since March 2023, citing security concerns and urging its officials not to use the TikTok app.
The Dutch government has prohibited its employees from using TikTok on their phones since November 2022.
Since March 2023, New Zealand has barred its MPs and staff from using TikTok due to national cybersecurity concerns, asking them to delete the app from their phones.
Since March 2023, the Norwegian government has been seeking to implement a ban on government employees using TikTok, with city councils in Oslo and other major cities directing their staff to uninstall TikTok from their smartphones.
Pakistan’s government has temporarily banned TikTok at least four times since October 2020 because to its support for improper content.
Taiwan has implemented restrictions on TikTok since December 2022, citing worries about national security vulnerabilities posed by Chinese-developed software. TikTok and other apps have been blocked on official government devices.
UK ministers and government staff have been prohibited from using TikTok on their mobile phones from March 2023. The UK government made its conclusion based on research conducted by the National Cyber Security Centre.
In December 2022, President Joe Biden signed the ‘No TikTok on Government Devices Act.’ As a result, the federal government, which owns approximately 34 of the 50 states, issued a ban on TikTok on government-owned smartphones due to data security concerns.
Furthermore, nations such as Malta, Ireland, Estonia, Denmark, Austria, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Iran, Indonesia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Senegal, and Somalia have imposed partial limitations on TikTok.
Most countries that have banned TikTok claim national security, privacy, and information theft as justifications. In Nepal, it appears that the government has decided to prohibit TikTok because to its perceived bad impact on social harmony and the social environment.