Valve's presence in China has been an interesting topic, especially in the past few months. Although the global version of its Steam storefront has been available for quite some time, it wasn't "approved" by the government per se, which meant that it could be yanked at any time. Just earlier this year, Valve released a government-approved version of the Steam in the country. The client offers a handful of games as it only contains titles that are approved by the Chinese government and adhere to its strict regulations, for example, regarding the display of blood and gambling.
However, there are now widespread reports that the global version of Steam has been added to a blacklist in China and cannot be accessed anymore. This applies both to the Steam client and the Steam Community page, as reported by thousands of users across Reddit, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Meanwhile, the Chinese version seems to be up and running for everyone.
While we don't have our own sources based in China to validate these claims, the China Firewall Test website is reporting both the Steam pages as "blocked" for us too.
That said, it's unclear what the actual root cause for the issue is. While the vast majority seems to agree that China has blocked the global version of the storefront, there are other reports of people being able to use it without any problems too. Meanwhile, some have also claimed it to be a DNS Cache Poisoning attack.
For its part, the Chinese government has not commented on the topic at all yet. Although if it has banned the global storefront, there could be widespread ramifications for its citizens who have invested their money in purchashing games from the storefront and won't be able to access them without tricky and unstable workarounds potentially involving the use of VPNs.
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