In search of erotic games, Chinese users turn to Steam
Porn is hard to come by in China. All major porn websites are blocked by the country’s Great Firewall, the censorship tool that basically made the Chinese internet a local network. Police forces around the country make frequent arrests of individuals who produce and distribute porn, and content platforms are routinely censured or shut down by regulators. An individual from the central China province of Hunan was sent to prison for four years and fined RMB 400,000 (around $57,870) for running two small websites that hosted pornographic content.
Even sexually suggestive content has faced increasingly stringent oversight. A set of standards for live-streaming platforms released by a provincial government this January, for instance, prohibits female live-streamers from wearing overly revealing, flesh-colored, or figure-hugging clothing.
Yet one kind of sexual content is easily available: games. Steam, the world’s largest digital game distribution platform, is one of the few large Western content platforms that are not blocked in China. Chinese users can easily purchase erotic games on the platform with Alipay and WeChat Pay, the top two payment tools in China.
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