Published: December 29, 2021
According to recent reports, the global version of Steam is banned in China. The only accessible version of the platform in China is the Chinese one. This version only offers a limited range of 103 games compared to the 110,000 games offered on Steam Global.
It was first reported after a data miner, Ricky Owens, posted screenshots on Twitter. The Verge verified this information by checking if the site is indeed blocked in China.
When they used Comparitech’s tool to check it, they confirmed that Steam Global was truly blocked in all parts of the country while Steam China is still accessible.
Steam China was first available to the public in February of this year. However, team China offers a very limited range of games, restricting what users can do.
It does not have any of the global site’s community features like Community market, discussion forums, community-made game guides, and more. What’s more, it doesn’t have mainstream games, except for Dota 2 and CS: GO.
All of these are unsurprising if we consider recent measures China has taken. However, it is still pretty controversial since China has already imposed a 10 PM curfew for gaming for minors and rolled out facial recognition software to check if whoever is playing is underage.
Furthermore, minors have restrictions to only playing games for no more than three hours a week. On top of all of that, the already-modified version of Fortnite was banned in the country.
The Verge team requested a comment from Steam regarding this matter but has not received a response yet.