August 10, 2022
PayPal access in Indonesia temporarily restored after licensing rules paused

Indonesia temporarily opened access to online payments firm PayPal to allow users to access their money, a senior official said on Sunday, sparking an uproar after the country blocked some online services and games.

The Indonesian Ministry of Communications on Saturday blocked PayPal, search engine website Yahoo and several gaming services for failing to meet deadlines under licensing rules.

Registration is required under the rules issued in late November 2020 and will give authorities broad powers to compel the platform to disclose certain users’ data and remove unlawful or “disturbing public order” content.

Samuel Abrijani Pangerapan, a senior official in Indonesia’s Ministry of Communications, told an online briefing on Sunday that the government was opening up access to PayPal for five working days.

“Hopefully there is enough time for users to migrate, get their money and find other services,” he said, adding that there has been no communication from PayPal yet.

On Saturday, thousands of comments criticizing the government’s blockade of unregistered digital services sparked an Instagram post by the Ministry of Communications.

Multiple messages said the government’s move was hurting Indonesia’s online gaming industry and freelance workers who use PayPal.

Authorities will unblock websites if they follow the registration rules, Samuel said, defending the measure as a safeguard for Indonesian internet users and the digital ecosystem.

He said operators of other affected gaming services, including Steam, Dota and Counter-Strike, are in contact with the government.

PayPal and video gaming company Valve did not immediately respond to emails from Reuters seeking comment.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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