30 percent of total employment.
Chinese services firms have survived the global financial crisis much better than factories, partly because they do not rely on exports for growth unlike manufacturers.
China's exporters took a beating in the latest global economic slowdown as belt-tightening by U.S. and European shoppers has sapped demand for Chinese goods. As a result, net exports have dragged on China's economic growth in the last two years.
Chinese services firms, on the other hand, cater to the more resilient domestic market that is supported by stubbornly strong house prices. (Reporting by Koh Gui Qing; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
Hong Kong's January PMI at 52.5 shows strongest rise in 11 months
The latest PMI figure signalled the strongest improvement in private sector business conditions in Hong Kong since last February.
* Growth in the volume of new orders has been sustained for three months, with the latest rise the fastest since February 2012. New orders from mainland China also increased in January, after having fallen in December.
* The output index increased for the fourth consecutive month in January and the rate of growth was at an 11-month high.
* Private sector employment fell in January, ending a three-month sequence of job creation.
* Private sector companies faced a further increase in input costs, with both purchase prices and staff costs rising. Input price inflation was strong and the fastest in 10 months.
Commenting on the Hong Kong PMI survey:
"Hong Kong's steady recovery strengthened into the New Year, boosted further by the renewed expansion of mainland orders," Donna Kwok, HSBC Greater China economist in Hong Kong, said in a statement.
"Robust demand conditions continue to fan inflationary pressures, an issue that will likely resume dominance in policymakers' concerns again by mid-year, especially as business activity picks up additional momentum," Kwok added.
About the Hong Kong PMI:
The data is collected by Britain-based Markit Group Ltd, and the report is sponsored by HSBC .