China has overtaken the US as the world’s biggest supplier of information and communication technology (ICT).
Figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) show that China’s exports of ICT – including PCs, mobile phones and digital cameras – increased over 46% to $180bn (£106bn) in 2004.
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China’s increase in ICT supplies business from 2003 compares to the US’s 12% exports increase to $149bn. This is the first time China has overtaken the US in the market.
China’s combined import and export activity also closely rivals that of the US. China's combined totals were worth $329bn in 2004, when they were only worth $35bn in 1996.
Over the same period, the US’s total was $375bn in 2004 from $230bn in 1996. So China’s overall ICT activity is growing at a much faster rate than the US.
The increased Chinese activity in the market is illustrated by Chinese firm Lenovo’s recent acquisition of IBM's PC manufacturing unit for $1.75bn.