In the People’s Republic of China, gaming is becoming more and more restricted. The Chinese government controls more and more what is played, by whom and for how long. At the end of this year, Chinese players had to find out that they had access to Steam Global is no longer possible.

No more Steam Global in China

As of December 25, 2021, players in China have reported that Steam Global and all pages of the Steam community are no longer accessible. It looks like the international version of Steam has been blacklisted and banned by the government in China.

As the magazine, TheGamer reports, other contradicting reports claim that the lock was the result of a DNS attack rather than a deliberate ban. So far, nothing has changed in Steam’s situation in China.

Leaker and dataminer Ricky Owens, aka iFireMonkey noticed the lock first. He tweeted a screenshot showing Steam on a list of blocked websites in China. This was also confirmed by other users ResetEra and Reddit.

Steam China only

As luck would have it Steam China not affected. The Chinese Steam version started in February 2021 and was accessible in parallel with Steam Global. Chinese players now only have access to Steam China, which currently has a limited library of only 103 games offers. That’s a very small fraction of what Steam Global has to offer.

The only major mainstream titles currently playable are Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2. But there are also restrictions. Steam China does not offer any community functions such as the Steam Workshop, the Community Market or discussion forums. There is also no activity area where users can share screenshots, game instructions or live broadcasts.

Restricted game industry

Steam Global’s lockdown is the biggest restriction on the gaming industry in China to date. Over the past 12 months, the Chinese government has repeatedly taken restrictive measures regarding gaming. This also means that children are only allowed to gamble for three hours a week.

With the introduction of Steam China, it was only a matter of time before Steam Global had to give way. Although the move came as a surprise to many, it still fits in with the previous measures taken by the Chinese government. After all, Steam China offers a curated selection of games that are “approved” in the country and conform to Chinese policy.

Fortnite, for example, was completely banned in China in November this year. The development of new games has also been restricted. Games must not have any elements critical of the government and must not show any “effeminate men”.

Those: TheGamer

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