Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp Sign Up for Indonesia’s Licensing Rules Amid Blocking Threat


Meta’s Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp have signed up to Indonesia’s new licensing rules for tech firms, government records showed on Tuesday, a day ahead of a deadline to comply or risk being blocked. The registration is required under rules released in late 2020 that would give authorities broad powers to compel platforms to disclose data of certain users and take down content deemed unlawful, or that “disturbs public order” within four hours if urgent, and 24 hours if not. Communication ministry records on foreign providers showed Meta’s units had signed up on Tuesday, but Twitter was not among those that had registered.

Of Alphabet’s units, which include YouTube and Google, only Google’s cloud services had registered as of Tuesday, according to Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, a senior ministry official.

Google, Twitter and Facebook did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

With a young, tech-savvy population of 270 million, Indonesia is a top-10 market in terms of user numbers for a host of social media companies, including Twitter, Facebook and Bytedance’s TikTok.

TikTok had already registered, as had streaming services Netflix, Spotify, the records showed.

Semuel said non-compliant firms would lose out in the long run and would be reprimanded, fined, then eventually blocked in Indonesia.

However, he added that platforms would get an opportunity to reverse that, should they subsequently decide to register.

“If they don’t sign up, it’s their loss. That means they don’t see Indonesia as their market potential,” he told a media briefing.

Last week, US-based firm Mastercard partnered with crypto gateway provider called Fasset to co-develop digital solutions to escalate crypto adoption in the country of Indonesia. The collaboration between Mastercard and Fasset aims to drive financial inclusion in Indonesia and get 92 million of its unbanked citizens to be part of the existing financial system.

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