China surpassed the US to become the world's number-one exporter of IT goods in 2004, according to a report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
China exported $US180 billion of information and communications technology (ICT) goods last year, including mobile phones, laptops and digital cameras, up from $US123 billion in 2003. US ICT exports grew at a slower rate, rising from $US137 billion in 2003 to $US149 billion in 2004, the OECD said.
The data also showed that the US imports more ICT goods from China than from any other source. China supplied 27 per cent of ICT imports to the US in 2004, up from 10 per cent in 2000.
Total worldwide trade by the U.S., including both imports and exports, remained higher than that of China. US world trade reached $US375 billion in 2004, compared to $US301 billion in 2003. China's imports and exports were worth $US329 billion in 2004, compared to $US234 billion the year earlier.
The OECD figures showed that trade between China and other Asian countries is growing, while ICT imports to China and Asia from the European Union and the US is declining. China is now importing more components such as chips from other Asian countries rather than the EU and the US.
But China is also building more components itself.
Electronic components made up China's second largest export item, after computers and related equipment, the OECD said.