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Downturn for alectronics exports

ELECTRONICS exports from China, the world's biggest television and mobile phone manufacturing base, dropped almost 20 percent in the first two months because of the global financial crisis, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said today.

The output of TVs, mobile phones and personal computers decreased while integrated circuits output grew in the period, according to MIIT, the country's top industry and information technology regulator.

In January and February, electronics exports dropped 19 percent from a year ago, compared with a decrease of 10.8 percent in December, said MIIT without providing detailed export figures.

"It's a touch challenge to the industry but it's an opportunity to upgrade our industry structure," Li Yizhong, the head of MIIT, said during a broadcast conference last month.

China has issued a package of stimulus policies to boost the electronics and IT sector, especially in the next-generation mobile communication, flat panel display, software and integrated circuit sectors.

The State Council announced yesterday it would increase export tax rebates in several industries, including electronics, from April 1.

China's exports plummeted 25.7 percent year-on-year in February, the worst decline in more than a decade, as global demand deteriorated.

Global mobile phone sales are expected to drop about 10 percent in 2009, the first annual drop since 2001, analysts said.

In the first two months, Chinese handset output dropped 11.2 percent while TV output trebled 21.4 percent. IC output grew 16.4 percent to hit 6.29 billion units, according to MIIT.


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