Valve's Chinese partner Perfect World will help bring Steam to the Chinese market. No launch date has yet been announced, and Valve promises that "no changes are planned for Steam's existing worldwide operations and services" as a result of the news.
Steam China will provide Chinese gamers and developers with a new way to access Steam's selection of games and entertainment. The move represents an extension of the partnership between Valve and Perfect World that began in 2012, when Perfect World's subsidiaries obtained the licence to operate Dota 2, and later Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, in China.
Robert H. Xiao, Perfect World's CEO, says the company will introduce more games to China through Steam China, "providing quality content and improving the experience for both gamers and developers."
Catch up on all the most exciting forthcoming releases in our list of upcoming PC games.
Perfect World and Valve will work together to promote the launch, marketing, and "initial game line-up" of Steam China. These are probably pretty fraught decisions - it will be interesting to see how Valve's recently announced hands-off approach to regulating its library will go down in a country which is notoriously censorious of its media. As that quotation implies, it's probably safe to assume that Steam China's library will not reflect that of Steam in the rest of the world.
On another note, you've just got to admire the timing for this one. We received the press release for this announcement in the very middle of E3's PC Gaming Show. Damn.