BEIJING, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) — China’s service outsourcing industry reported stable growth in the first 11 months of 2020, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Chinese firms inked service outsourcing contracts worth about 1.3 trillion yuan (about 187.9 billion U.S. dollars) in the Jan.-Nov. period, up 12.9 percent year on year.

The executed contract value stood at 922.6 billion yuan in the first 11 months, representing a year-on-year increase of 16.4 percent.

Of the total, offshore service outsourcing contracts reached 765.88 billion yuan during the period, up 11.5 percent year on year.

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.

During the period, the United States, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the European Union ranked the top three largest markets in business volume, the ministry said.

Service outsourcing with countries along the Belt and Road totaled 99.12 billion yuan in terms of the fulfilled contract value, up 8.1 percent from a year ago.

In China, service outsourcing is typically divided into three sub-sectors: information technology outsourcing, business process outsourcing and knowledge process outsourcing.