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Indonesia has blocked Steam, Epic Games, PayPal, and more

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The Indonesian government has blocked popular gaming sites and web services after they did not register for a new set of licensing rules. The organization responsible for the block, a government communication ministry known locally as Kominfo, has attracted widespread criticism on Indonesian social media following the enforcement, with “BlokirKominfo” (“Block Kominfo”) trending.

Websites and services blocked include Steam, Epic Games, Battle Net, Ubisoft, Origin, Nintendo, Yahoo, and PayPal. PayPal has since been temporarily unblocked to allow Indonesians a five day window to withdraw their money.

The new rules, first announced in November 2020, give Indonesian authorities the power to compel platforms to disclose certain user data and take down content deemed unlawful or that “disturbs public order” within as few as 4 hours. 

Earlier this month, Indonesia had urged tech companies to sign on to these new licensing rules before a July 20th deadline. Some companies, including Amazon, Facebook, and Google, speedily met the deadline. Others, clearly, did not. It’s not clear in any case if moral objection, or simple ignorance, has caused this situation.

Indonesian gamers are understandably upset, as are freelance creatives reliant on PayPal for international commissions. Social media is rife with accusations that the new rules, and this lack of foreign companies complying, will irreparably damage the Indonesian creative and gaming industries.

Indonesia is the largest country in the Southeast Asia region (SEA), with nearly 40% of the population at 274 million, and as such forms a considerable portion of the region’s gaming market. Reuters reports that the country has an estimated 191 million internet users.

Anyway, just go search Kominfo on twitter if you want to see some quality Indonesian memes.

#BlokirKominfo Wow Kominfo…… you’re so great at making stupid decision pic.twitter.com/sLkJlehbCjJuly 31, 2022

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