The Caixin/Markit Services Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for China declined to 51.2 in February from 52.4 in January, missing expectations for a rise to 52.6.
The index was driven by a softer growth in new business and employment.
"The services sector has outperformed manufacturing industries, reflecting continued improvement in the economic structure. While implementing measures to stabilize economic growth, the government needs to push forward reform on the supply side in the services sector to release its potential," Dr. He Fan, Chief Economist at Caixin Insight Group, said.