Indonesia bans Yahoo, Paypal and games for license violations

The PayPal app logo is seen on a mobile phone in this illustration on October 16, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration

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JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia has blocked search engine Yahoo, payments firm PayPal (PYPL.O) and several gaming websites for failing to comply with licensing rules, an official said on Saturday, sparking a backlash on social media.

Registration is required under the rules issued in late November 2020 and will give authorities broad powers to compel platforms to disclose certain users’ data, and to remove content deemed illegal or “disturbing public order” within four hours if urgent and 24 hours if Not so. Read more

Several tech companies scrambled to sign up in the days before the deadline, which was extended through Friday, including Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), Meta Platforms Inc (META.O), Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Amazon.com Inc. AMZN.O). Read more

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The websites that have been blocked include Yahoo, PayPal, and gaming sites such as Steam, Dota2, Counter-Strike, EpicGames and others, Simuel Abrijani Panjrapan, a senior official at Indonesia’s Ministry of Communications, said in a text message.

PayPal, Apollo Global Management’s private equity parent company to Yahoo and US company Valve Corporation, which operates Steam, Dota and Counter-Strike, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. EpicGames could not be reached for comment.

Hashtags such as “BlokirKominfo” (Block of the Ministry of Communications), Epic Games and PayPal have trended on Indonesian Twitter, writing many letters criticizing the government’s move as harming Indonesia’s online gaming industry and freelancers who use PayPal.

Pangerapan said the government will find a solution for people to withdraw their deposits from PayPal, which may include reopening access to its website for a short time, he told Metro TV.

He said authorities would unblock the sites if they complied with the registration rules, defending the measure as a safeguard for Indonesian internet users.

With an estimated 191 million internet users and young people who are social media savvy, the Southeast Asian country is an important market for a range of tech platforms.

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(Reporting by Gayatri Soroyo) Editing by Stephen Coates and David Evans

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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