China's exports fell 11.2 per cent on-year in January, while imports declined 18.8 per cent, clocking far bigger slides than expected by analysts.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a 1.9 per cent drop in January exports, and a 0.8 per cent drop in imports.
China's trade surplus came in at US$63.3 billion (S$88.59 billion) in January, against analysts' expectations of a US$58.85 billion surplus.
In December, China's exports fell 1.4 per cent from a year earlier, while imports slid 7.6 per cent
Separately, yuan-denominated data showed exports fell 6.6 per cent in January and imports dropped 14.4 per cent from a year ago. That left the country with a trade surplus of 406.2 billion yuan for the month.
China's economic growth rate slowed to a 25-year low of 6.9 per cent in 2015, as the world's second-largest economy continues to shift away from its manufacturing roots.
The economy grew 6.8 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2015 from the same period last year, official data showed in January.
To counter slowing growth, China's policy makers have taken a slew of easing measures, including interest rate and reserve requirement ratio cuts from the central bank.