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Electronics exports lose spark

China's electronics exports fell by more than a quarter in the first two months, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said yesterday.

In January and February it totaled US$53.6 billion, 26.1 percent lower than a year ago, compared with a 21-percent drop in the country's total exports in the same period.

Computer exports fell 21.1 percent and TVs were down 17.4 percent, according to the ministry.

"This is a broad-based slowdown," said United States-based research firm Gartner analyst Richard Gordon. "IT organizations worldwide are being asked to trim budgets."

In 2009, tech spending globally will drop 3.8 percent to US$323 million, the lowest since 2001, when IT spending fell due to the bursting of the Internet bubble, Gartner said.

It said computer sales would be hardest hit, with sales of personal computers estimated to fall by 9.2 percent.

The telecommunications equipment sector, however, has started to rebound after the country issued 3G licenses to carriers, which increased spending on the next-generation mobile communications network, MIIT said.

China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile operate the 3G networks, which will attract direct investment of 280 billion yuan (US$40.9 billion) within two years.

Telecommunications equipment output dropped 1.7 percent year on year in the first two months but the output figure in February jumped 17.2 percent, the ministry said.

China is the world's biggest producer of mobile phones, laptops and TVs.



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