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TikTok sends 7-pt letter to NTA: says, “we are surprised by the decision to ban app in Nepal”

TikTok sends 7-pt letter to NTA: says, “we are surprised by the decision to ban app in Nepal”

Following the decision of the government to ban TikTok in Nepal, the TikTok has expressed its concerns through an email to the Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA).

TikTok on Monday had sent a letter addressing NTA Chairman Purushottam Khanal.

The government on November 13 had decided to ban TikTok in Nepal over what it says is disturbing “social harmony”.

The TikTok was informed about the decision on October 27 through the authority.

In response, Tiktok said that it was surprised by the government’s decision and asked the real reasons for imposing the ban.

“It is with great concern that we acknowledge the email received from your office today regarding the Government of Nepal's decision to block/ban TikTok,” reads the email sent to Khanal by Ferdous Mottakin, the Head of Public Policy and Government Relations for South Asia on November 13.

 “We were as surprised as we’re sure the millions of Nepal citizens were, who have been a part of our community expressing their creativity and joy through the platform.”

“In a very short span of time, we have been embraced by people of all regions, cultures, and socio-economic strata in Nepal who utilize our platform to get informed, entertained, and inspired.

“This ban will not just hamper our investment plans, it will also have a severe economic impact on our Nepali content creators, especially young adults. Nepali businesses, who have relied heavily on TikTok, use our platform to market their products and keep their businesses afloat. As a result of this ban, these businesses will be significantly affected as well.”

"User safety is TikTok's top priority. We are committed to promoting a safe and welcoming environment for our community,” it said. “As a global platform, we have thousands of people across the globe where TikTok operates working to maintain a safe environment for our users. We address content and behavior that violate our Community Guidelines through a combination of policies, technology, and moderation, which may include removing contents and accounts.”

The email further states that a team of TikTok had visited Nepal on November 3, 2023 and held a meeting with the Ministry of Home Affairs for Cyber Crime Control and Cyber Security.

During the meeting, the team presented detailed working progress, moderation process and collaboration commitment with the government of Nepal.

“We conducted an Internet Safety Summit in Kathmandu on October 5, 2023 in presence of a wide range of stakeholders including non-profits, TikTok creators, civil society, law enforcement officials and government representatives,” the email further reads.

“We signed an MoU with Nepal Telecommunications Authority on October 5, 2023 to jointly conduct an internet safety awareness campaign in Nepal.”

“We opened up the access of the ‘Trust and Safety Enforcement Tool’ to the Government of Nepal on June 7, 2023 to ensure the government can report any content that they find is violative of local laws.”

It also stated that TikTok was registered as a Digital Service Tax payer in Nepal on August 29, 2023.

“We proactively removed 2.98 million videos from our platform in Nepal between October 2022 to June 2023 for violating our Community Guidelines.”

“We conducted multiple physical workshops for NTA, CIB and Cyber Bureau to enhance their knowledge and understanding of our platform. We also opened up the ‘Trust and Safety Enforcement Tool for Cyber Security recently,” according to the letter.

“Furthermore, the decision to ban TikTok contradicts the Government of Nepal’s current continued engagement with us.”