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TikTok steps up efforts to remove its ban in Nepal

Next team in Kathmandu after five-member delegation returns
Sagar Neupane

Sagar Neupane

 |  Kathmandu

Social network TikTok, a global short video platform, is constantly stepping up efforts to remove the ban imposed by the Nepal government.  

In the last week of January, five member-delegation including one Pakistani returned home after a week of discussions with various government agencies.

A meeting of the Council of Ministers held on November 13 decided to shut down Tiktok saying that it disrupted social harmony. Tiktok has been repeatedly asking the government to reconsider its decision.

The company, in a letter sent to the government, said that it was ready to remove the objectionable videos as requested by the government.

After the Nepal government did not lift the ban, TikTok's representatives have intensified their meetings with the authorities in Kathmandu.

The five-member team that came to Kathmandu has made an informal proposal for a meeting with the cyber bureau of the Nepal Police.

"An informal proposal has come to the Bureau from the team asking for time to discuss with the Cyber Bureau for crime control," the source told Nepalkhabar, "We will coordinate if the formal letter arrives."

After the return of the five-member team, a two-member team arrived in Kathmandu on Wednesday.

Sources said that the team met with the Minister for Communication and Information Technology Rekha Sharma on Thursday and asked her to lift the ban on TikTok.

The team that landed in Kathmandu on Wednesday tried to meet with Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' on Thursday.

However, Prime Minister Prachanda, in a message, asked the team to consult the Communication Minister and his IT team. Then on Friday, the Tiktok team met with an official of the Prime Minister's Secretariat.

One month after the government shut down Tiktok, on December 5, the Head of Public Policy and Government Relations of Tiktok for South Asia, Ferdous Mottakin, came to Kathmandu and met Prime Minister's IT expert Prakash Rayamajhi and officials of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology.

Mottakin was appointed to the post of TikTok in November 2022.

Since then, representatives of TikTok have been coming to Nepal and meeting with various government agencies.

The company sent a seven-point letter to the Nepal Telecommunication Authority, stating that it was surprised when the Council of Ministers decided to ban the global short video platform, even though it was working in coordination with the government agencies.

After the ban was imposed by the government, 14 cases were filed against it in the Supreme Court.

Conducting a preliminary hearing of all the writs together on November 21, a single bench of Supreme Court Justice Binod Sharma refused to issue an interim order to stay the implementation of the government decision arguing that it would incur no 'irreparable damage'.

Although the reason for imposing the ban has been sought from the government in the writ filed, it has not been heard since then. The next hearing is scheduled for May 9.

The two-member team met Communication Minister Rekha Sharma at Singh Durbar on Thursday morning. According to an official at the Ministry of Communication, they requested that the ban be lifted.

The TikTok delegation held a meeting with the minister on Thursday, said the source. "The government is trying to maintain social harmony. We have no objection to the social network TikTok. However, Tiktok could not follow Nepal's community standard. The short videos were not compatible with Nepali society," the source quoted Minister Sharma as telling the delegation during the meeting.

It's been three months since the Nepal government banned TikTok. The representatives of the social network have been piling pressures on the authorities concerned to remove the ban.

China raised concerns
China is unhappy with the TikTok ban. It has taken the Nepal government's move to ban TikTok as an anti-China activity.

Following the Nepal government's decision to ban social media platform TikTok, the Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, Chen Song, met with Prime Minister Prachanda and said, "We worked hard to make your China visit a success. We got this decision in return. You took this anti-China decision upon your return from a China visit."

In response, Prime Minister Prachanda said, "I never thought China would take this issue so seriously." "TikTok became a serious issue not only with the family but also with the political parties and the government," said the prime minister," So munch so that the leaders from the ruling alliance to the opposition started voicing concerns against it. Eventually, the government banned TikTok."


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