A customer tries out a pair of sunglasses at a duty-free experience shop in a resort in Sanya, South China's Hainan province, April 15, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]
BEIJING -- China's services trade fell in the first five months this year amid the COVID-19 epidemic, but the trade structure kept improving with a narrowing deficit, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
The services trade totaled 1.87 trillion yuan ($264.8 billion) during the period, down by 14.6 percent year on year, the ministry's spokesperson Gao Feng said at a press conference on Thursday.
Services exports amounted to 759.26 billion yuan in the January-May period, down by 2.3 percent, while imports decreased by 21.5 percent year on year to 1.11 trillion yuan.
Meanwhile, the services trade deficit stood at 350.08 billion yuan, dropping by 285.15 billion yuan from the same period last year.
The ministry highlighted strong resilience in China's trade of knowledge-intensive services, which jumped by 8.7 percent year on year.
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.