The New York Times bragged this week that during the last three months of 2016, they added 276,000 net digital subscribers. That’s more than the 184,000 net subscribers who signed up for the news organization’s digital editions in the whole of 2015.
Since the election, these three sites, The New York Times, Washington Post and the London Guardian have received massive amounts of traffic from China, according to Alexa.
WaPo (59% Chinese traffic)
NYT (49% Chinese traffic)
Guardian (57% Chinese traffic)
This unexpected amount of Chinese traffic was not there previously.
Going back to October 2016, Alexa showed only 2.6% of The Washington Post’s traffic coming from China, a swing of over 56%.
Given that Chinese traffic now accounts for ~50% or more of their Alexa rank, it is likely this Chinese traffic is covering up a considerable decline in real traffic. Other aggregators such as Similar Web show no sign of Chinese traffic.
Quantcast gives estimates of actual number of traffic; using those estimates as a gauge would give these three sites somewhere in the region of 30-40 million unique Chinese visitors.