BEIJING, May 19 (Xinhua) -- China's service outsourcing industry posted steady expansion in the first four months of this year, data from the Ministry of Commerce showed Thursday.
Chinese firms inked service outsourcing contracts worth 589.9 billion yuan (about 87.4 billion U.S. dollars) during the January-April period, up 8.8 percent year on year.
The executed contract value totaled 387.2 billion yuan, representing a year-on-year increase of 15.3 percent.
Outsourcing is the business practice of hiring a party outside a company to perform services and make goods traditionally undertaken by the company's employees.
Of the total, the offshore-service outsourcing contract value rose 7 percent from a year ago to 333.8 billion yuan.
Service outsourcing with members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership saw rapid growth, with the executed contract value rising 6.3 percent from a year earlier to 50.5 billion yuan in the January-April period.
Thursday's data also showed that the number of people employed in the sector came in at 14.26 million as of the end of last month, up 8.1 percent year on year. ■