Photo: iStock / Getty
Photo: iStock / Getty

China’s information technology and software sector has been thrust into the limelight due to its breakneck 19.1% growth during the first quarter after the National Bureau of Statistics unveiled additional information on its better-than-expected Q1 GDP report on Tuesday.

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This is the first time the digital data industry has been presented by itself in the sectoral growth breakdown that customarily gets published on the day after the headline-grabbing economic release. The tech sector grossed 693.9 billion yuan (US$100 billion) during the first three months of this year, accounting for 3.8% of China’s economy.

The innovation-driven sector is now carved out from the generic “other services” category, which now has seven major service industry groups, including scientific research, environmental works, education, and sports, down from its previous nine.

The business services and leasing sector, the second best performing services category during Q1, has also secured a line of its own in the latest release. It grew by 10.2%.

China’s GDP growth accelerated to 6.9% during the first quarter, beating economists’ estimates on a strong-than-anticipated recovery in its secondary sector, which includes manufacturing (75%) and construction (10%). The gain on that side of the equation more than compensated for a loss of speed in China’s services-heavy tertiary sector.