Indonesia’s PayPal, Yahoo bans cast cloud over tech hub dream

by | Aug 4, 2022 | World

Jakarta, Indonesia – Indonesia’s temporary ban on major websites including PayPal has exposed the difficult balancing act Jakarta faces as it seeks to both tighten control of the internet and become Southeast Asia’s next tech hub.Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has listed digital infrastructure as a priority under his Making Indonesia 4.0 roadmap aimed at lifting his country into the ranks of the world’s top 10 economies.
But even as Widodo has pushed the digital economy, overseeing Indonesia’s rise to become Southeast Asia’s second-largest recipient of venture capital and home to 13 tech unicorns valued at more than $1bn, his administration has sought to rein in the influence of internet companies among the country’s more than 270 million people.
Those efforts have included the introduction of a licensing system that the government says is needed to enhance data protection and facilitate the removal of content that could “disturb public order” in the archipelago, where the success of startups such as GoTo has fuelled bullish predictions that the digital economy could more than double in value to $146bn by 2025.
On Saturday, PayPal, Yahoo and several gaming platforms were temporarily blocked after failing to register for the licensing system, sparking confusion and anger among users of the sites.
“In the morning, I just noti …

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