Due to license violations, Indonesia prohibits Yahoo, PayPal, and gaming sites

Indonesia has blacklisted Yahoo, PayPal, and other gaming websites for failing to comply with licensing regulations, a government official announced on Saturday in Jakarta, provoking an outcry on social media.

Authorities will have broad powers to compel platforms to provide data of particular users and to remove information deemed criminal or that “disturbs public order” within four hours if it’s urgent and 24 hours if it’s not. In addition, registration will be necessary under rules issued in late November 2020.

Several technology companies, including Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Meta Platforms Inc.’s Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, and Amazon.com Inc., rushed to register in the days preceding the deadline, which had been extended to Friday.

Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, a senior official at Indonesia’s Ministry of Communications, stated in a text message that Yahoo, PayPal, and gaming sites such as Steam, Dota2, Counter-Strike, and EpicGames, among others, have been blocked.

PayPal, Yahoo’s parent private equity firm Apollo Global Management, and US game developer Valve Corporation, which operates Steam, Dota, and Counter-Strike, did not answer demands for comment immediately. EpicGames was unavailable for comment.

On Indonesian Twitter, hashtags such as “BlokirKominfo” (block Communication Ministry), Epic Games, and PayPal trended, with many users criticizing the government’s action as detrimental to Indonesia’s online gaming business freelancers use PayPal.

Pangerapan told Metro TV that the government would find a way for consumers to withdraw their PayPal deposits, which may involve temporarily restarting PayPal’s website.

The websites will be unblocked if they meet registration requirements, he said, defending the decision to protect Indonesian internet users.

Southeast Asia is a substantial market for various Internet platforms with an estimated 191 million internet users and a young, social media-savvy population.