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Nepal joins a growing list of countries banning TikTok

Another country is banning TikTok, the ByteDance-owned short video behemoth with over one billion active users around the world.

The decision, first reported by the New York Times, came shortly after the Himalayan country introduced a rule requiring social platforms to register with the local government. TikTok’s refusal to curb hate content was affecting “social harmony,” the report said, citing the Nepal government.

Specifically, officials are apprehensive about content that is “stoking religious hate, violence and sexual abuse and has led to clashes offline, forcing curfews and the deployment of the police.”

TechCrunch has reached out to ByteDance for comment.

TikTok’s meteoric rise has been met with resistance as countries around the world become increasingly wary of Chinese influence. The app lost a significant market in 2021 after India banned it among dozens of Chinese internet services, including messaging giant WeChat, in the midst of escalating border tensions between the two nations. In May, Montana became the first state in the U.S. to ban TikTok over concerns about Beijing’s possible reach to its user information.

Many other countries, including Canada and the U.K., have imposed restrictions on TikTok to different degrees, mostly barring government officials from using the addictive, algorithm-driven short video app.

TikTok has long maintained that it doesn’t share data with the Chinese government. In the U.S., its biggest market, the app spent as much as $1.5 billion on “Project Texas” to store user data locally.

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