JAKARTA–Indonesia has blocked search engine website Yahoo, payments firm Paypal, and several gaming websites due to failure to comply with licensing rules, an official said on Saturday, sparking a backlash in social media.
Registration will be required by rules published in late November 2020. This gives authorities wide powers to force platforms to share data with certain users and to take down any content that is deemed illegal or “disturbs the public order” within four hour if it’s urgent, and 24hours if not.
Several tech companies registered in the days before the deadline. These included Alphabet Inc., Meta Platforms Inc., Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp and Amazon.com Inc .
Semuel Pangerapan is a top official of Indonesia’s Communications Ministry. He said that Yahoo and Paypal were among the websites blocked. Also, gaming sites such as Steam, Dota2, Counter-Strike and EpicGames are also affected.
Paypal is Yahoo’s parent company Apollo Global Management. U.S. developer Valve Corporation runs Steam, Dota and Counter-Strike. They did not respond immediately to our requests for comment. EpicGames was not available for comment.
Hashtags such as “BlokirKominfo”, Epic Games and Paypal were trending on Indonesian Twitter. Many wrote messages condemning the government for affecting Indonesia’s online gaming sector and freelancing workers using Paypal.
Pangerapan didn’t respond to our request for comments.
With an estimated 191million internet users, and a younger, more tech-savvy population, this country in Southeast Asia is an important market for many technology platforms.