BEIJING, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- China's service imports continued to substantially outvalue exports in the first eight months due to strong domestic demand.
The value of service imports gained 12.2 percent year on year to 2.13 trillion yuan (more than 320 billion U.S. dollars) in the January-August period, while exports only increased 4.4 percent to 926.69 billion yuan, resulting in a 1.2-trillion-yuan deficit, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Thursday in a statement.
The gap, nearly 20 percent more than the same period a year earlier, was attributed to service imports in tourism, transportation and other traditional sectors, the MOC said.
Traditional service trade, which gained 9.4 percent year on year in the period, accounted for more than two thirds of the total.
In contrast, imports and exports in smaller emerging services, such as Internet technology, were more balanced. The exports rose 8.5 percent year on year to 458.23 billion yuan, nearly half of the country's total service exports.
Total foreign trade in emerging services registered a faster 10.6-percent growth pace, bolstered by robust telecommunication, computer and information services.
Offshore outsourcing contributed more than 70 percent of the exports from emerging services. Data analysis services surged 452.4 percent year on year, followed by Internet marketing by 124.9 percent and e-commerce by 91.9 percent.
Countries along the Belt and Road outsourced more than 50 billion yuan of services to Chinese businesses, up 25.4 percent from a year ago.
As part of efforts to create new economic drivers, China has been improving its service sector and rolling out measures to make it more competitive, including gradually opening up the finance, education, culture and medical sectors.