China registered a substantial drop in services trade deficit in the first five months of 2021 with new progress made in structural reform and high-quality trade development, data from the Ministry of Commerce showed Tuesday.
Services trade totaled 1.938 trillion yuan (about 300 billion U.S. dollars) during the period, with exports up by 20.1 percent year on year to 911.8 billion yuan and imports down 7.5 percent to come in at around 1.03 trillion yuan.
The deficit of service trade stood at 114.5 billion yuan, 235.6 billion yuan less than the same period last year.
The ministry highlighted the continued rapid expansion in China's trade of knowledge-intensive services, which increased by 11 percent year on year to nearly 899 billion yuan.
Exports of knowledge-intensive services grew by 14.4 percent to 493.3 billion yuan, while imports grew by 7.3 percent to 405.7 billion yuan.
Services trade in the tourism sector continued to suffer heavily from the COVID-19 pandemic-related travel restrictions. In the January-May period, China's tourism industry saw services trade plummet 36.9 percent to 307 billion yuan.
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.