China's deficit in foreign service trade expanded in December, official data showed Thursday.
The deficit stood at 22.6 billion U.S. dollars last month, up from 20 billion dollars in November, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said in a statement.
Income from trade in services stood at 23.1 billion dollars last month, while expenditure was 45.7 billion dollars.
In contrast to merchandise trade, trade in services refers to the sale and delivery of intangible products such as transport, 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.
SAFE began issuing monthly data on service trade in January 2014 to improve the transparency of balance of payment statistics. Since the start of 2015, it has also included monthly data on merchandise trade in its reports.
Last month, China saw a surplus of 55.7 billion dollars in foreign merchandise trade, up from 50.5 billion dollars in November.