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December 4, 2020

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Steady trend for trade in services

China’s trade in services shrank in the first 10 months but posted a more steady trend, with the trade deficit further narrowing, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Since the beginning of the year, the scale of China’s trade in services decreased, partly due to the COVID-19 outbreak, while it has now shown a tendency to stabilize, said ministry spokesman Gao Feng.

He said service exports performed significantly better than imports, the trade deficit narrowed, and the proportion of trade in knowledge-intensive services increased.

From January to October, China’s service imports and exports totaled 3.73 trillion yuan (US$568 billion), down 16.1 percent year on year.

The deficit in trade in services was further reduced. In the first 10 months, service exports topped 1.55 trillion yuan, down 1.8 percent year on year, while imports added up to 2.18 trillion yuan, a 23.9 percent fall.

The drop in services exports was smaller than that in imports by 22.1 percentage points, leading to a 51.1 percent decline in the services trade deficit to 627.88 billion yuan, Gao said.

The imports and exports of knowledge-intensive services jumped 8.3 percent YoY to 1.64 trillion yuan, accounting for 44 percent of the total which was up 9.9 percentage points.

Among them, exports of knowledge-intensive services rose 8.2 percent to total 860.94 billion yuan, contributing 55.6 percent of overall exports in services which was 5.1 percentage points higher than in the same period last year.

Gao also highlighted the areas with faster export growth — intellectual property royalties, insurance services, as well as telecommunication, computer and information services, with increases of 27.2 percent, 18.4 percent and 14.4 percent, respectively.

The imports of knowledge-intensive services amounted to 778.09 billion yuan, up 8.4 percent, accounting for 35.7 percent of the total import of services, an increase of 10.7 percentage points.

Exports and imports in travel services, however, declined significantly as the COVID-19 outbreak had a severe impact on the trade in travel services worldwide.

From January to October, China’s travel service imports and exports fell 47.1 percent, with exports down 48.5 percent and imports down 46.9 percent. Excluding travel services, China’s trade in services rose 2.3 percent in the first 10 months, with exports up 4.8 percent and imports basically unchanged from the same period last year.


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