Valve will introduce a public beta of Steam China on February 9, a standalone service offering video games in line with Chinese regulations.

Steam China will be operated on a different customer from the around the world Steam services, but will initially permit those with a Steam account to visit to either service.

The first pair of games to be introduced on the service will be Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and DOTA 2, copying previous information over from Steam’s routine client. According to a Twitter thread from Daniel Ahmad – senior analyst at Niko Partners – Chinese players will be needed to register once again, however can keep access to their data.

At first, both Steam clients will be available to players in China, but according to Ahmad’s thread it remains unknown whether the international client will be prohibited in the country eventually due to its ‘illegal’ variations of video games.

Chinese video games are subject to more stringent requirements in regards to censorship and prior approval, so every video game readily available on the service will have had to be approved by regulators. Steam China likewise needs a greater quality of Chinese localisation and language options. Valve have actually actively made it much easier for smaller and indie development groups to upgrade their video games appropriately.

Ahmad elaborated later Twitter, clarifying that Steam has actually constantly been ‘operating in a grey location within China’. He mentioned that Apple has also had to produce a ‘clean version of its store for China’.