General Motors' first-half sales in China, the world's biggest auto market, exceeded sales in its home U.S. market for the first time, according to data released on Friday.

GM's China auto sales jumped 48.5 percent to 1.21 million units in January through June, compared with the 1.08 million light vehicles it delivered in the U.S. over the same period, company data showed.

China overtook the U.S. as the world's top auto market in 2009, helped by government incentives and a 4 trillion yuan ($590 billion) economic stimulus package.

GM's June China auto sales rose 23.2 percent to 176,486 units. Sales of Shanghai GM, the Detroit automaker's flagship car venture with SAIC Motor Corp <600104.SS>, came to 71,782 units, up 18.9 percent on a year earlier.

Sales of Wuling brand mini vehicles made at its three-way tie-up in south China rose 19.7 percent to 99,115 units.

Toyota Motor <7203.T>, a relative latecomer to China, sold 362,000 cars in the country in the first six months, up 27 percent. Its June sales climbed a more modest 8 percent to 61,000 cars, after labor disputes at a parts supplier interrupted production.

(Reporting by Fang Yan and Jason Subler, editing by Will Waterman)