In early 2023, Valve was adapting and releasing in China a version of Steam compatible with the restrictions imposed by the Beijing government. At that time, only about forty games were available, but Chinese players could continue to access the international version of Steam, called Steam Global, still online, while Valva adapted to the market with the new version.
However, players living in mainland China very recently had the unpleasant surprise to discover that Steam Global suddenly became inaccessible. Indeed, for a few hours now, it seems that the version of Steam to which we also have access has been blocked throughout Chinese territory, which was noticed thanks to the tool Comparitech.
The players therefore no longer have access to some 110,000 games in the catalog, but only to the 103 games of the Chinese version. Has the government decided to tighten the screws with the approach of the international new year? It is quite possible but nothing is less certain, as many users indicate that it could be a DNS server attack. At this time, Steam has not commented on the situation, so it is still hard to know exactly what’s going on. Until then, Chinese players can no longer access the Steam Workshop, Forums, Guides, Activities, and Community Market.
As a reminder, China has recently tightened its measures, reducing playing time to three hours per week between 8 and 9 p.m., while one hour of daily play is allowed during school holidays. Measures presented as fighting against the risks of addiction to “mental opium”. Industry publishers have also deployed facial recognition software, and underage players must enter their identity card number to access the title.
At the application level, the government is also very attentive, and recently turned its attention to Tencent, in requiring the company to submit all its applications to a control until December 31. According to information made public, Tencent did not comply with recent laws protecting personal data.