China passes US as leader in PC, phone exports: OECD

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China passes US as leader in PC, phone exports: OECD
PARIS (Reuters) - China surpassed the United States as the world's biggest exporter of laptop computers, mobile phones and other information and communications technology goods in 2004, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said on Monday.

China exported US$180 billion worth of so-called ICT goods in 2004, compared with US exports of US$149 billion, the OECD, a free-market agency funded by 30 countries, said.

The United States was world leader in 2003 with US$137 billion worth of exports of ICT goods, followed by China with US$123 billion, it said.

"The data show a shift towards more trade between China and other Asian countries, with a corresponding decline in ICT imports to this region from the European Union and the US," the OECD said in a statement.

China's Lenovo Group Ltd has long dominated the Chinese computer market, the world's second largest, but it burst onto the world stage this year as the third-biggest maker of computers with the purchase of International Business Machines Corp's PC business, behind Dell and Hewlett-Packard.

China used to rely heavily on Europe and the United States for computer chips and other components but is now turning to suppliers in Japan, Taipei, South Korea and Malaysia, the OECD said.

"China itself is also manufacturing and exporting more electronic components than ever before, with these now forming China's second-largest export item, after computers and related equipment," it said.

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