Steam, Epic Games and other online services blocked in Indonesia

Video game websites, including Steam and Epic Games, and other online services have been blocked in Indonesia.

According to a report by Reutersthese sites as well as others such as PayPal and Yahoo have been restricted by the Indonesian government for non-compliance with licensing rules.

Online games and storefronts must comply with a country’s government rules in order to operate in these regions. For example, last week it was reported that Roblox Developer Roblox Corp. was forced to comply with China’s very restrictive rules regarding how its government and historical figures could be portrayed before the game could be sold in the country.

With a young population that loves social media and an estimated internet user base of 191 million, Indonesia – like China – is also seen as an important market for tech platforms.

Indonesian regulations require websites to register with its government, granting officials the power to compel platforms to hand over certain user data and remove any content they deem illegal within 24 hours. Several tech companies rushed to complete registration before Friday’s deadline.

According to a senior Communications Ministry official, Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, the list of blocked websites also includes Electronic Arts’ Origin, Blizzard’s and specific Valve games. Dota 2 and Counter-Strike.

In addition to being blocked in Indonesia, affected companies have also received a formal warning and must pay a fine before re-registering. The Ministry of Communications has already contacted the sites concerned, according to sector analyst Daniel Ahmad.

Of the blocked websites, PayPal is currently causing the most controversy on social media, as freelancers use the platform to collect payment from their international customers. For now, Indonesian freelancers have to wait for the government to potentially unblock PayPal long enough to be able to withdraw their funds from the platform, according to Pangerapan.

Pangerapan also reminded citizens that affected websites will lose their restrictions once they comply with Indonesia’s registration rules.

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