Indonesia Blocks Yahoo, Paypal and Gambling Websites Over Licensing Compliance

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia has blocked the website of search engine Yahoo, payment company Paypal and several gaming websites over failure to follow licensing rules, an official said on Saturday, causing a backlash on social media.

Registration is required under rules published at the end of November 2020 and will give authorities sweeping powers to compel platforms to release certain users’ data and remove content deemed illegal or “disturbing public order” within four hours if they are urgent and within 24 hours otherwise.

Several tech companies had rushed to register in the days leading up to the deadline, which was extended to Friday, including Alphabet Inc’s Google, Meta Platforms Inc’s Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp and Inc.

Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, a senior official with the Indonesian Ministry of Communications, said in a text message that blocked websites include Yahoo, Paypal and gaming sites like Steam, Dota2, Counter-Strike and EpicGames, among others.

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

Hashtags like “BlokirKominfo” (block the Ministry of Communication), Epic Games and Paypal were trending on Indonesian Twitter, with many written posts criticizing the government’s decision as harming the Indonesian online gambling industry and workers. freelancers who use Paypal.

Pangerapan did not respond to a request for comment.

With an estimated 191 million internet users and a young, social media-savvy population, the Southeast Asian nation is a major market for a host of tech platforms.