China's service trade fell in the first half of 2020 due to the COVID-19 epidemic, but the trade deficit continued to narrow, data from the Ministry of Commerce or MOC showed on Tuesday.
Service trade totaled 2.2 trillion yuan during the Jan-June period, down by 14.7 percent year on year, said MOC official Xian Guoyi.
The ministry highlighted strong resilience in China's trade of knowledge-intensive services amid the epidemic, which increased by 9.2 percent year on year in the period, accounting for 43.7 percent of the total trade in services.
Xian attributed the decline in service trade to virus-induced contraction in the travel industry, adding that after stripping out the impact of this sector, the country's service imports and exports rose by 2.1 percent year on year in H1.
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.