Indonesia has blocked search engine website Yahoo, payment company Paypal and several gaming websites for failing to comply with its licensing rules, an official said Saturday, sparking a backlash on social media.
Registration is required under rules released in late November 2020 and gives authorities broad powers to force platforms to release certain users’ data and remove content deemed illegal or “disrupting public order” within four hours if urgent. and within 24 hours if not.
Several tech companies had rushed to register in the days leading up to the deadline, which had been extended to Friday, including Alphabet Inc’s, Meta Platforms Inc’s Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp and Amazon.com Inc.
Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, a senior official at Indonesia’s Ministry of Communications, said in a text message that websites that have been blocked include Yahoo, Paypal and gaming sites such as Steam, Dota2, Counter-Strike and EpicGames.
Paypal, the parent company of Yahoo Apollo Global Management and US game developer 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 Communications Ministry), Epic Games and Paypal were popular on Indonesian Twitter, with many written posts criticizing the government for harming Indonesia’s online gaming industry and freelance workers using Paypal.
Pangerapan did not respond to a request for comment.
With an estimated 191 million internet users and a young, social media-centric population, the Southeast Asian nation is a key market for a myriad of tech platforms.
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