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Tencent Integrates Blockchain E-Invoicing with WeChat

China’s tech conglomerate Tencent has officially incorporated a blockchain electronic invoice system in the WeChat, the company’s popular messaging, social media and payment app with over 1 billion users, in a bid to simplify the process of reimbursing company employee expenses.

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According to the statement released by the fintech arm Tencent Financial Technology on Tuesday, the WeChat’s blockchain-backed e-invoices function allows qualified merchants using WeChat Pay to issue invoices with zero cost to consumers.

Shenzhen, the sprawling metropolis in the southeastern province of Guangdong and home base of Tencent, has become the first city in China to trial this blockchain solution. WeChat Pay merchants in the city need to file an application and register with Shenzhen’s local taxation authority.

The traditional way to process an invoice—a legal proof of purchase for goods which is also known as fapiao in Chinese— entails cumbersome steps. For example, the merchant is required to manually type in the taxpayer number on the receipt in every instance, followed by additional manual and paper-based tasks.

Blockchain electronic invoice, however, streamlines the process while fight fake invoices and prevent duplicate requests for reimbursement. Besides, the solution designed to protect the authenticity of invoice by tracking the process of issuance and circulation is suitable for further inspection and management by tax authorities. More importantly, consumers can have the e-invoice with one click on the WeChat app after checkout, and place it in their “card bag” from which they can submit the invoice for reimbursement. The invoice information is synchronized in real-time to the financial system of the employee’s company.

On August 10, the first blockchain e-invoice in China was issued by Shenzhen Guomao Rotary Restaurant. Other merchants in Shenzhen ,including a parking lot, auto repair shop, and cafe have the solution.

Elsewhere, Thailand’s Revenue Department plans to implement blockchain to prevent fraudulent  value-added tax (VAT)  refund claims in the country.

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