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Gaming websites including Steam and Epic Games blocked in Indonesia

Gaming websites including Steam and Epic Games blocked in Indonesia

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

According to a Reuters report, these sites, along with others such as PayPal and Yahoo, have been restricted by the Indonesian government for not complying with licensing rules.

Online games and storefronts must comply with the rules of a country’s government in order to operate in these regions. For example, it was reported that last week Roblox developer Roblox Corp. was made to comply with China’s highly restrictive rules around how the 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 considered an important market for technology platforms.

Indonesian regulations require websites to register with the government, and give officials the power to force platforms to hand over certain user data and remove any content they deem illegal within a 24-hour period. Several tech companies rushed to complete registration by the Friday deadline.

According to senior member of the Ministry of Communications, Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, the list of blocked sites also includes Origin from Electronic Arts, Blizzard’s and the specific Valve games Dota 2 and Counterattack.

In addition to being blocked in Indonesia, the affected companies also received a formal warning and must pay a monetary fine before re-registering. The Ministry of Communications has already reached out to the affected websites, according to industry analyst Daniel Ahmad.

Of the sites blocked, PayPal is currently causing the most controversy on social media, as freelancers use the platform to receive payments from their international clients. For now, Indonesian freelancers will have to wait for the government to potentially unblock PayPal long enough for them to withdraw their money from the platform, according to Pangerapan.

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

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