Chinese authorities are blocking access to the Steam global version, citing “national security.” This appears to be a reaction from China’s government against foreign companies that have had problems with intellectual property rights in the country. How is this affecting gaming and game development there?
If the newest story is to be believed, the Chinese government’s ongoing attempts to bring the gaming industry to heel have extended to the worldwide edition of the Steam shop. Initial reports indicate that the global version of Steam, as well as all of its community pages, have been blacklisted, leaving players in China with only the Chinese version of Steam, which has a significantly smaller library of games and no community features such as discussion boards or the Steam Workshop.
Ricky “iFireMonkey” Owens, a dataminer, was the first to notice the ban, sharing images of the worldwide Steam website showing on a list of prohibited sites for the nation. The Verge independently verified the allegation using Comparitech and confirmed it.
What isn’t clear is where the block came from; original beliefs were that it was part of China’s ongoing campaign to control the gaming sector, but according to a Saturday update, contradicting rumors are circulating claiming the block is the consequence of a DNS assault. Chinese players are now dealing with a significantly less comprehensive version of the storefront in any scenario.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Steam still blocked in China?
A: Yes, Steam is still blocked in China.
Why is Steam blocked in China?
A: In accordance with United States network export policies, Steam is blocked in China. This means that people who live in or travel to China may not be able to use their accounts on the platform.
Does Steam work in China?
A: Unfortunately, this is not possible for Steam to work in China.