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China blocks Steam Community features

But games marketplace remains open for users to buy and play new titles

Reports have emerged that Steam's community features have been blocked in China.

ValveTime reported the outage via Twitter by showing a screengrab from GreatFire.org, a site that monitors which webpages can be accessed from the region.

The tweet shows a block rating of 94%, but at the time of writing, SteamCommunity.com has been 100% blocked for the past 90 days.

Interestingly, the actual Steam store and several other pages connected to it remain open to Chinese users. This means while they can buy and play games, the lack of community features means they can't converse on forums and in groups, read through guide, view their achievements and badges, and more.

It's unclear why the Chinese government has chosen to block these features, although it has previously been known to restrict the access its citizens have to foreign products and marketplaces. Back in March, it banned all new Korea-developed games from being published in the region. (Then again, it finally lifted the 15-year console ban a few months later)

Rumours have spread throughout the year that the government could block Steam's access to China at some point, particularly in light of the growth seen from Tencent's approved WeGame platform.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that China is the world's biggest games market, valued at $25.6bn. A quarter of all money spent on video games in the world is spent in China.

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