Indonesia Briefly Blocks PayPal in Move to Police Its Internet

INDONESIA began blocking websites from gaming store Steam to digital wallet PayPal Holdings Inc. over the weekend, making good on promises to bar internet services that don’t register locally and submit to a tightening regulatory regime.

The government briefly barred PayPal from operating, before backtracking to give the digital wallet operator an additional five days to submit its paperwork, the US firm said on its local web page.

It’s unclear if Indonesia will block more websites. Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Meta Platforms Inc.’s Facebook are among those that have submitted to the regulations, which grant the government sweeping powers to shut down content it deems undesirable and tax digital sales. Rivals including Inc and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s missed the July deadline but completed their registrations before their services were blocked.

Social media operators are facing increasing scrutiny from governments around the world as their influence grows. The rules would let Indonesia government block services that fail to remove within 24 hours content that could potentially “incite unrest” or “disturb public order,” such as those that promote child pornography or support terrorism. They also let the government impose a value-added tax on the sale of digital goods, from content to virtual items. – Bloomberg