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Indonesia blocks Yahoo, Paypal, gaming websites over licence breaches

Tuesday, August 2, 2022
Indonesia blocks Yahoo, Paypal, gaming websites over licence breaches © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The PayPal app logo seen on a mobile phone in this illustration photo October 16, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration

JAKARTA (Reuters) -Indonesia has blocked search engine website Yahoo, payments firm PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) and several gaming websites due to failure to comply with licensing rules, an official said on Saturday, sparking a backlash on social media.

Registration is required under rules released in late November 2020 and will give authorities broad powers to compel platforms to disclose data of certain users, and take down content deemed unlawful or that "disturbs public order" within four hours if urgent and 24 hours if not.

Several tech companies had rushed to register in days leading up to the deadline, which had been extended until Friday, including Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Inc's, Meta Platforms Inc's Facebook (NASDAQ:META), Instagram and WhatsApp and Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN).

Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, a senior official at Indonesia's Communications Ministry, said in a text message websites that have been blocked 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 (NYSE:APO) and U.S. 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 Communication Ministry), Epic Games and PayPal trended on Indonesian Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), with many writing messages criticising the government's move as hurting Indonesia's online gaming industry and freelance workers 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 period, he told Metro TV.

Authorities would unblock the websites if they comply with registration rules, he said, defending the measure as protection for Indonesian internet users.

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

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13-08-2022 16:36:34 (UTC+7)

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 EUR/USD1.0261↑ Buy
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 USD/JPY133.46↑ Sell
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 USD/CAD1.2774↑ Buy
 EUR/JPY136.93Sell
 EUR/CHF0.9659↑ Sell
 Gold1,818.40↑ Buy
 Silver20.835↑ Buy
 Copper3.6783↑ Buy
 Crude Oil WTI91.88↑ Buy
 Brent Oil98.01Buy
 Natural Gas8.780↑ Buy
 US Coffee C227.53↑ Buy
 Euro Stoxx 503,776.81Sell
 S&P 5004,280.15↑ Buy
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 FTSE 1007,500.89Neutral
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