Global paywalls ranking: China site Caixin has 850,000 subscriptions

Ranked: The world’s top ten non-English digital news subscriptions

Caixin, a news website based in China, has 850,000 digital subscriptions, according to a new ranking by FIPP

Chinese business and finance site Caixin has been named as the world’s largest news brand for digital subscriptions outside the US and UK.

Caixin, a media group that offers content in both Chinese and English, has around 850,000 digital subscribers, according to a new ranking by the International Federation of Periodical Publishers (FIPP).

Caixin subscriptions have grown 21% since the first half of 2021, meaning it has overtaken Nikkei.com to become the world’s largest digital news subs business outside of the English-speaking world.

Overall, FIPP – which hosted its 44th World Media Congress event in Portugal this week – counts 121 titles with 37.8m digital-only subscribers, up 8.3% on its previous report.

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What is Caixin?

Led by founder Hu Shuli, Caixin is a news organisation that has built respect and trust among Western media outlets by reporting on corruption, pollution and public anger in China. Bloomberg reported last year that it had been expelled from an official list of outlets that can be republished in China.

Bill Bishop, writer of the respected Sinocism newsletter on China, described Caixin as the best Chinese language news source “for business and economic issues”. He told Press Gazette: “They have terrific reporters, who if not constrained by the political system in which they operate, might run circles around the foreign media trying to cover China. I have long joked that I would pay a lot of money to read the stories they have written but are not allowed to publish.”

The media group’s digital subscription business has grown rapidly since it launched in 2017. According to a  Caixin press release last year, it had 300,000 paid subscribers in 2019, 510,000 in 2020, and 700,000 in 2021.

The growth of Caixin means it comes ninth overall in FIPP’s list, which correlates with Press Gazette’s 100k Club ranking of English-language digital news subs.

The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Athletic, Weather Channel, Guardian, FT and Substack make up the first eight places.

FIPP’s latest global digital subscription snapshot reports that Japan’s Nikkei.com, another business-focused website and a sister title to the Financial Times, had 816,682 subscribers as of the second half of 2021.

The other large non-English language titles in FIPP’s ranking include Axel Springer’s Bildplus (603,284), France’s Le Monde (420,000), Italy’s Corriere della Sera (384,000) and Argentina’s La Nation (343,000).

Below, Press Gazette has used FIPP’s digital news subscriptions list to rank the top ten brands from the non-English-speaking world.

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