BEIJING - China's service trade totaled 3.57 trillion yuan (about $505 billion) in the first eight months of 2019, up 3 percent year-on-year, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Saturday.
Service exports amounted to 1.26 trillion yuan, while imports came in at 2.31 trillion yuan, said the MOC.
In August alone, service exports rose 11.5 percent, with the growth pace faster than the previous seven months.
The service trade deficit stood at 1.04 trillion yuan in the first eight months, down 10.1 percent year-on-year.
The MOC data also showed the country's trade of knowledge-intensive services maintained rapid expansion, increasing 10.6 percent year-on-year to 1.21 trillion yuan.
Imports of knowledge-intensive services grew by 7.6 percent to 575.47 billion yuan, while exports grew by 13.5 percent to 638.7 billion yuan, according to the MOC.
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.
China has taken steps to improve the development of trade in services, including gradually opening up the finance, education, culture and medical treatment sectors.