Today (29/01) it was confirmed by Google that it invested in Indonesia-based Go-Jek, the leading ride-hailing company in Southeast Asia's largest economy. The confirmation stemmed from Google Vice President of Product Management Caesar Sengupta's post, titled "Google in Asia - Investing in Indonesia", on the company's blog.
Update COVID-19 in Indonesia: 228,993 confirmed infections, 9,100 deaths (16 September 2020)
18 September 2020 (closed)
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US multinational technology company Google failed to reach a tax settlement with Indonesia's Tax Office in 2016 and therefore directors of Google Indonesia could risk a prison visit. In September 2016 Muhammad Hanif, Head of the Tax Office's Special Cases Department, said Google could face claims for five years of back taxes, including a bill of more than USD $418 million for full-year 2015 as the company is estimated to have paid less than 0.1 percent of the total income and value-added taxes it owed Indonesia in 2015. In Indonesia, Google generates income from online advertisement.
People familiar to the matter claim that US multinational technology firm Google will reach a tax settlement with the Indonesian government. Authorities in Indonesia have become increasingly uncomfortable with multinational companies that generate profit from an Indonesian online audience but lack a permanent presence in Indonesia in the form of a foreign investment company. This applies to various social media platforms as well as Google that only has a representative office in Indonesia, while transactions and revenue (generated in Indonesia) are booked at Google Inc's Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore.
Based on a recent survey conducted by Google, online transactions in Indonesia continue to rise (particularly the purchase of goods through mobile gadgets) despite the nation’s economic slowdown and weak rupiah (which makes imported products more expensive). Henky Prihatna, Google’s Country Head for Indonesia, said the survey shows that Indonesian consumers are increasingly using Internet to purchase consumer goods.
Indonesia's e-commerce industry (online shopping) is expected to continue its rapid growth in the years ahead as more and more Indonesians have access to Internet amid the country's rising per capita GDP (resulting in a rapidly expanding middle class). Indonesians' purchasing power has expanded quickly and in combination with the popularity of the smartphone, people are increasingly purchasing consumer goods online. This was one of the conclusions drawn in an online business insight discussion organized by Google and Blibli.com in Jakarta.
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Although the amount remains a secret, the government of Indonesia and Alphabet's Google finally managed to reach an agreement on the tax settlement after a long dispute that started in mid-2016. The news was confirmed by Indonesian Finance Ministry Sri Mulyani Indrawati. The dispute started because Indonesian authorities felt the so-called "over-the-top content" giants, referring to those companies that deliver content through Internet, deliberately did not set up permanent establishments in Indonesia in order to avoid taxes. Besides Google, other examples are Yahoo, Facebook and Twitter.
Indonesia's Communication and Information Ministry urges American multinational technology company Google to set up a permanent establishment in Indonesia. This way Google, which is owned by US multinational conglomerate Alphabet Inc, would need to start paying taxes to Indonesian authorities. Currently, Google only has a representative office in Indonesia, while transactions and revenue generated in Indonesia are booked at Google Inc's Asia Pacific headquarters located in Singapore.
During Indonesian President Joko Widodo's visit to Googleplex, Silicon Valley (California) - headquarters of Google, Facebook, Twitter and Plug and Play - he emphasized that the government of Indonesia is committed to push for the development of the digital economy, aiming to make it the largest in Southeast Asia, worth USD $130 billion by 2020 (including the emergence of 1,000 Indonesian technopreneurs). In this context, Widodo also requested the assistance of Google, Facebook and Plug and Play in the form of IT development education.
Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) increased 3.98 points to close at 4,724.41 on the last trading day (19/07). During last week, the index rose a limited 1.97 percent amid the context of a weakening IDR rupiah (Indonesia's currency even fell below the psychological boundary of IDR 10,000 against the US dollar). The IHSG's performance last week was mainly supported by rising shares in the country's finance, property, construction and metal mining sectors, while the cement and plantation sectors were corrected.
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