Indonesia opens temporary access to PayPal after lockdown sparks backlash

Indonesia opens temporary access to PayPal after lockdown sparks backlash

The PayPal app logo seen on a mobile phone in this illustrative photo taken October 16, 2017. Portal/Thomas White/Illustration//File Photo/File Photo

JAKARTA, July 31 (Portal) – Indonesia has temporarily opened access to online payments company PayPal (PYPL.O) to allow users to access their money, a senior official said on Sunday after the suspension of some online services and games had caused an outcry across the country.

Indonesia’s Communications Ministry on Saturday blocked PayPal, search engine site Yahoo and several gambling services for failing to meet a deadline under licensing regulations. Continue reading

Registration is required under rules published at the end of November 2020 and gives authorities broad powers to force platforms to disclose data of specific users and remove content deemed unlawful or that “disrupts public order”. Continue reading

Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, a senior official at Indonesia’s Communications Ministry, said in an online briefing on Sunday that the government is opening access to PayPal for five working days.

“Hopefully that’s enough time for users to migrate, get their money and find other services,” he said, adding that there hadn’t been any communication from PayPal yet.

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

There was much news that the government’s move hurt the Indonesian online gambling industry and the freelancers who use PayPal.

Authorities would unblock the websites if they comply with registration rules, Semuel said, defending the measure as protecting Indonesian internet users and the digital ecosystem.

Operators of other affected gaming services, including Steam, Dota and Counter-Strike, have been in touch with the government, he added.

PayPal and video game company Valve Corporation did not immediately respond to Portal emails asking for comment.

Reporting by Fransiska Nagoy; Adaptation of Lincoln Feast.

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