In 2009, China overtook Germany as the largest exporting nation worldwide. Since 2014, China has been not only the world's largest exporter but also the largest trading nation in terms of the sum of its exports and imports. Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, 2021 was another remarkable year in terms of international trade. China's exports of goods totaled a record high of 3.36 trillion U.S. dollars, nearly 30 percent more than the previous year. That year, China's export of goods and services constituted 19 percent of the GDP. A country’s economy is considered relatively open if its exports made up around 15 percent or more of its GDP.
Merchandise and service exports from China
China is known as "the world's factory" for being the largest supplier of manufactured goods. In 2021, China exported over 3.2 trillion U.S. dollars of manufactured goods, the highest of all time. That year, China's major exports were automatic data processing machines and components, followed by clothes and clothing accessories, integrated circuits, and mobile phones. As a consequence of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, an increasing number of exporting enterprises shifted their businesses online. In 2021, China exported around 11 billion yuan worth of goods via cross-border e-commerce.
On the other hand, service exports from China saw substantial growth in 2021. That year, China exported nearly 400 billion U.S. dollars of services, up from approximately 280 billion U.S. dollars in the year prior. Commercial service took up the largest part of China's service exports, while travel and transportation services were among the most exported commercial service categories in China that year.
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Research expert covering e-commerce and FMCG in Greater China