Indonesia Asks Booking, Expedia and Others to Register to Avoid Ban



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According to a regulation passed in November 2020, digital platforms must obtain licenses to operate in Indonesia.

Six online travel agencies received warning letters from Indonesia’s ministry of communication and information asking the companies to immediately register as ‘Private Scope Electronic System Operators (PSE),’ classifying them as internet businesses.

The letter dated March 5 gave the companies until the end of March to register. 

The six companies that received letters were: Airbnb, Booking, Agoda, Trivago, Klook, and Expedia. Airbnb and Agoda have registered with the ministry. 

According to a regulation passed in November 2020, digital platforms must obtain licenses to operate in Indonesia. To acquire these licenses, platforms must agree to government terms, including granting access to user data and removing online content upon request. 

Platforms initially faced no immediate requirement to register. But since then, the government has blocked a number of sites including PayPal and some gaming websites for failing to register. Indonesia lifted the ban on PayPal in August 2022. 

However, a government official said the letters weren’t meant to threaten the companies, but rather to nudge them into compliance.  

“If they have good commitment, good intentions, of course we must also open up. Because they are committed to registering, if by the end of this month they have not registered, then we will block them,” Usman Kansong, director general at the ministry of communication and information was quoted as saying in Voice of Indonesia

The government has set up resources and communication channels to assist with the process.

“For example, a week before the end of the month, we try to ask again. This is we are looking for a way out, not punishment. At least we have another reminder. If not, of course we will block it,” Kansong said.

Skift has reached out to Airbnb, Booking, Expedia and Trivago for comment.



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