If you’ve been keeping an eye on Steam lately, you’ll know there’s been an absolutely tremendous influx of Chinese users. This time last year, barely any Steam users were Chinese. Now, two-thirds of Steam accounts use the Chinese language, caused in part by the booming popularity of PUBG in the country. Now, this probably hasn't sat well with the Chinese authorities, and it’s pretty evident Tencent would prefer all these users go through its own WeGame service
Which leads us to today, where it turns out that 96% of all Steam Community pages have now been blocked in China since December 15th. That includes all Steam discussion pages, player profiles, and inventories. The actual Steam store is still available, at least for now, but the community features have been stripped out.
I’ve spoken before of something I read in Edge magazine regarding the connection between Chinese members of government and their vested financial interest in Tencent, and it was practically inevitable that the banhammer would drop down at some point.
China has an interest in boosting its own businesses, and right now there are literally millions of users flooding cash into an American corporation. Tencent is also an absolutely huge player right now, and it’s surely got an eye on the worldwide gaming market beyond China. In fact, Tencent recently signed a deal to officially publish PUBG in China in order to adhere to “socialist core values.” For now, it means that the Steam marketplace is going to be a topsy-turvy place. Two-thirds of Valve’s customers are now in a form of limbo.