At an esports event held at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai (The site of The International 9) Valve officially announced the arrival of Steam China in Shanghai in association with Perfect World legitimizing the digital distribution platform in the Asian country. Steam China had been running unofficially in the country without much in the way of issues until December of last year.
However, the Steam Community suddenly stopped working around December 15, 2017, while access to the store and other features appeared relatively unaffected. With the launch of Steam China expect all of steam's features to be restored to the users relatively quickly.
Valve, in collaboration with Perfect World, officially signed today an agreement with Shanghai’s government to launch Steam China pic.twitter.com/KvwtMyaEDd— Nors3 (@Nors3) November 28, 2018
While Valve may have to deal with issues of censorship in order to be compliant with local laws, financially it makes sense for them. A quarter of Steam users had their language set to Simplified Chinese as of six months ago. Which confirms the fact that a massive market is still present in China.
While details are scarce, it is said that all new games on Steam China will still be required to be approved by the Chinese government. It is not clear whether the games which are already available on a user's library will be screened.
Perfect World and Valve also signed a contract for The International 9, which is set to take place at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, Shanghai in 2019 confirming that there are no plans to shift the event away from China even amidst the Kuku-Skem racism issue that’s been occupying the spotlight in the Dota 2 community.