Steam is now officially (and finally) available in China but unlike its other regional or international versions, the Chinese version is nearly devoid of games.
Browsing through the store confirms that Steam China features only about three dozen games or 41 to be exact. Adding software and DLC helps boost that number but only to reach a measly total of 51 store listings.
The international version of Steam in comparison features about 50,000 games which goes on to reach a total of around 90,000 listings when including software, DLC, or or other non-game products.
Something else to note is that besides Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2, international players are barely going to recognize the other games on the marketplace. This is not saying that these same games are not available on the other Steam versions but that every other mainstream game is missing.
The barebones situation might change later on since the Chinese version only sells games that have been regulated or licensed by the Chinese government. Steam China hence makes for an unconvincing argument for Chinese players to switch over to the official platform. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, a highly popular multiplayer game which helped popularize Steam in China in the first place, is yet to even make the cut.
All of the community features such as guides, message boards, broadcasts, marketplace, and workshop are also missing from the Chinese version of Steam. The Chinese version further differs by merging both the local and international reviews into a single pool. While that may not be too problematic, Chinese players might be better suited to learn what other locals are saying about a game.
Steam China in its current state is pretty disappointing. The local population may possibly not even feel the need of switching just to play Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2. That is unless the Chinese government decides to ban the international version altogether.