BEIJING, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- China logged a marked drop in service trade deficit in the first half of 2021, data from the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) showed Tuesday.
Service trade rose 6.7 percent year on year to around 2.38 trillion yuan (about 367.97 billion U.S. dollars) during the period, with exports up by 23.6 percent year on year to approximately 1.13 trillion yuan and imports down 5 percent to reach around 1.25 trillion yuan.
The deficit of service trade stood at 120.46 billion yuan in the first six months, 281.25 billion yuan less than the same period last year.
Compared with the same period in 2019, service trade in the country dropped 9 percent, with service exports up 20.9 percent and service imports down 25.6 percent.
The ministry highlighted the remarkable expansion in China's trade of knowledge-intensive services, which increased by 13.5 percent year on year to nearly 1.11 trillion yuan in the first half of 2021.
Service trade in the tourism sector continued to drop as countries around the world took strict measures to restrict the cross-border movement of people due to the pandemic, said the MOC.
In the January-June period, China's tourism industry saw service trade volume plummet 34.8 percent to 363.79 billion yuan, MOC data showed.
In June alone, China's service trade saw substantial growth. It surged 22.5 percent year on year to come in at 439.2 billion yuan, the data showed.
In contrast to merchandise trade, trade in services refers to the sale and delivery of intangible products such as transportation, tourism, telecommunications, construction, advertising, computing and accounting.