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China has reportedly banned Steam’s global version

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I’m the guy you see dancing in the rain in the middle of the night. Pursuing my bachelor’s in literature, I love to read and write and I’m somewhat of a decent storyteller. A die-hard fan of Miyazaki and Murakami and my go-to quote is “The past is a foreign country, we do things differently there”.

According to a tip from TheGamer, Steam Global appears to have been prohibited in China. Only the Chinese edition of Steam is available in the nation, which presently provides a limited library of just 103 titles—a very small percentage of the approximately 110,000 titles that Steam Global holds at this moment.

This is bad news for both indie developers and large corporations who are hoping to profit from China’s massive gaming populace. Several companies make most of their money from the Chinese audiences.

The initial allegations came to light when several Chinese gamers complained about being unable to enter into their Steam profiles or open the official Steam page on a Chinese social networking site. A large number of players have reported that the Steam website is completely unusable.

Fortnite leaker iFireMonkey (aka Ricky Owens) first discovered the restriction and shared a screenshot of what looks to be Steam on the list of China-banned sites. The Verge tested this via Comparitech’s tool to see if a site was restricted in China.

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When you type “” into the website, the tool tells you that Steam has been banned in all areas of China, but when you type “,” the tool tells you that the domain is still accessible.

As a result of the restriction, Chinese players are limited to using Steam China, which was only released this year in February. There are fewer games, but Steam China also lacks community features like the Community Market, Steam Workshop, the activity section, which displays recent broadcasts from users on Steam as well as screenshots from games, community-made tournament guides, and discussion forums. As of writing, The only mainstream titles on Steam China are Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) and Dota 2.

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After a year of tightening down on gaming, China’s suspected ban on Steam Global is a bad way to finish 2021. Tencent introduced facial recognition technology in July to help enforce China’s curfew of 10 p.m. for late-night gaming among children.

Just a few weeks later, China implemented a new guideline that prohibits children from playing video games for over three hours each week. Even though Fortnite had previously been significantly tweaked to meet China’s rigorous requirements, China eventually ended up banning the game anyway.

When Steam debuted its China-only interface in February 2021 there were fewer titles available for sale. It’s was only possible to play games on Steam China that have been allowed by Chinese authorities. People don’t know for sure if China’s sole version of the site and client will remain open or be banned soon.


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