Over at The Diplomat, I looked at the ongoing flop that is RT's Chinese vertical:
In May 2015, a new branch of Russia’s propaganda machine burst onto the scene. Following in the steps of Moscow’s other multilingual platforms — in French, Arabic, and English — RT, formerly Russia Today, announced it was finally broaching the Chinese market. As a release detailed, “RT has stretched across continents to reach out to Chinese-speaking audiences launching a dedicated channel on YouTube.” Or as an RT presenter shared, “Make sure to check out all of our familiar programs translated into [Chinese].”
As the channel passes its two-year mark, however, Moscow may be wondering whether entering the Chinese market was worth the effort, or the funding, it promised. Indeed, in just 24 months of operation, there’s every indication RT’s Chinese component could be the Kremlin’s largest state media-related flop to date — an impressive feat, given that elsewhere RT has captured only 0.04 percent of the British market, and failed to crack the top 94 American cable channels recently surveyed by Nielsen.
All told, RT’s Chinese channel has just over 4,100 subscribers — a meager total, especially when compared to the 850,000 subscribers the outlet has for its Spanish channel, as well as the two million subscribers following its English YouTube channel. Only one clip from RT’s China channel has reached at least 1,000 views in 2017: a two-minute video featuring Peruvian shamans blessing photos of U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Indeed, that’s only one of two offerings over the past two years that’s attained at least 10,000 views, the other being a 2016 clip of a Swedish musician playing a marble-based music box.