China has become the world's largest exporter of information and communication technology, usurping the dominant position of the US for the first time, according the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
In 2005 China's exports of technology will top $180 billion, compared to the US's $149 billion.
The growth in the Chinese technology trade is mirrored in overall export growth, and represents further evidence of China's burgeoning economic strength.
"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 U.S.," the OECD reported.
But it is the growth of the Chinese technology industry that has piqued the interest of the US government.
China is also the largest single exporter of ICT goods to the US, accounting for 27% in 2004, up from just 10% in 2000.
A US Congress report in November 2005 warned: "China's position at the centre of the global technology supply chain grows, raising the prospect of future US dependency on China for certain items critical to the US defence industry as well as vital to continued economic leadership."
One major factor in the growth of Chinese technology exports was the acquisition of IBM's PC business by hardware maker Lenovo for $1.75 billion.