China’s Service Outsourcing Industry posted steady growth in the January-April period, Data from the Ministry of Commerce showed on Friday.

Chinese Firms inked service outsourcing contracts worth about 542.4 billion yuan (about 84.35 billion U.S. dollars) in the first four months of 2021, up 44.9 percent year on year.

The executed contract value came in at 335.9 billion yuan during the period, with a year-on-year increase of 35.6 percent.

Outsourcing is the business practice of hiring a party outside of a company to perform services and make goods traditionally undertaken by the company’s employees.

Of the total, offshore service outsourcing contract values reached 311.9 billion yuan, rising 35 percent from a year earlier.

The contract value of offshore service outsourcing with Belt & Road Partner Countries reached 61.6 billion yuan, surging 97.8 percent from a year earlier, according to the data.