2018.08.10

China’s First Blockchain E-invoice Issued in Shenzhen, Adding Another Application Scenario to Tencent Blockchain

On August 10, China’s first blockchain electronic invoice was issued in Shenzhen. Witnessed by Ren Rongfa, Deputy Director of the State Administration of Taxation, Ai Xuefeng, Vice mayor of Shenzhen People’s Government, Zhang Guojun, Shenzhen Tax Service of the State Administration of Taxation, and other guests and media outlets, the International Trade Revolving Restaurant issued the first blockchain e-invoice, making Shenzhen the first pilot city for blockchain e-invoices in China and the launch of the blockchain era of taxation service.

Under the guidance of the State Administration of Taxation, the blockchain electronic invoice was issued through joint efforts of Shenzhen Tax Service of the State Administration of Taxation and Tencent. It is the first result of the “blockchain + invoice” ecosystem applied research in China. The International Trade Revolving Restaurant, the parking lot of Bao’an District Sports Center, Kaixin Auto Trading Co., Ltd. (Pingshan Auto Repair Yard) and Tencent Image Café are the first merchants to introduce the system. For the first phase of the pilot project, Shenzhen Tax Service of the State Administration of Taxation, together with Tencent and Kingdee Software, created a full-process and 360-degree invoice management application scenario of “WeChat Payment – invoice issuing – reimbursement”. In the future, more enterprises will be able to get access to the system and issue blockchain electronic invoices.

Blockchain invoice integrates traditional invoice and electronic invoice. Shenzhen Tax Service and Tencent, by jointly issuing the first blockchain invoice, integrated “capital flow and invoice flow”, combined the issuance of invoice with online payment, and broke barriers between invoice application, invoice issuance, reimbursement and tax payment.

So far, Tencent has added blockchain application scenario to Tencent blockchain following charity, supply chain finance, smart medical care and other scenarios, and taken root in the field of blockchain electronic invoicing.

A benefit to tax service, enterprises and consumers

According to Cai Weige, General Manager of Tencent Blockchain, blockchain electronic invoice synchronize transaction, invoice issuance and reimbursement. For tax regulators and supervisors, this technological innovation enables full-process supervision and paperless intelligent tax management, making the process more controllable.

Merchants can also increase their operation efficiency through blockchain electronic invoices, thus saving management costs. The innovation makes the issuance and use of invoices more convenient, more standardized, and enables online application and issuance of invoices. Docked with the financial software of enterprises, electronic invoice enables real-time reliable accounting and reimbursement, and it will also facilitate the process of tax returns.

Blockchain electronic invoice is another innovation and service upgrade for tax service providers. Zhang Guojun said, blockchain electronic invoices, through the integration of “capital flow and invoice flow”, would synchronize online payment with invoice issuance. With this innovation, the invoice is an accurate reflection of the transaction data, which effectively eliminates problems of incorrect information on the invoice, under-invoicing and no invoicing, thus ensuring timely and full tax collection. In addition, the blockchain management platform monitors the status of the whole process of invoice issuance, circulation and reimbursement, so that the invoicing process could be managed in all aspects.

With such a feature on WeChat, consumers can apply for invoice issuance after paying the bill and realize reimbursement at one click. The invoice information is synchronized to the corresponding enterprise and tax bureau in real time, and consumers automatically get reimbursed. This spares the previous laborious and cumbersome process, enables electronic and convenient tax collection and reimbursement, and synchronizes transaction, invoice issuance and reimbursement.

Provide an optimized solution to the current electronic invoice

In 2015, the “Internet + Taxation” Action Plan (hereinafter referred to as the Action Plan) released by the State Administration of Taxation clearly stated the requirement to “explore pilot projects of paperless invoice, reduce the costs of the use of invoices and invoice management, and gradually promote the transformation from paper invoice to electronic invoice.” The Action Plan has laid a good legal foundation for electronic invoice, and electronic invoice has become the general trend.

In 2015, the “Internet + Taxation” Action Plan (hereinafter referred to as the Action Plan) released by the State Administration of Taxation clearly stated the requirement to “explore pilot projects of paperless invoice, reduce the costs of the use of invoices and invoice management, and gradually promote the transformation from paper invoice to electronic invoice.” The Action Plan has laid a good legal foundation for electronic invoice, and electronic invoice has become the general trend.

At the same time, blockchain electronic invoice provides an optimized solution to the current electronic invoice. Cai Weige pointed out that for users, blockchain electronic invoice provides a solution to invoice reimbursement without status and saves the trouble of making invoice copies during reimbursement. Enterprises can authenticate invoices in large batches through this innovation and save costs of invoice issuance. For tax authorities, blockchain electronic invoice solves the chronic problem of stateless reimbursement, centralized storage, and the separation from stakeholders.

Another scenario of Tencent blockchain

Before the blockchain electronic invoice scenario, Tencent blockchain has launched scenarios of game, charity, and supply chain finance. As early as 2015, Tencent has established a blockchain team, which later applied its blockchain technology to multiple projects of electronic voucher, public welfare and so forth.

According to Cai Weige, Tencent blockchain, based on the design concept of independent innovation, safety and efficiency, open sharing, aims to provide enterprise-level blockchain infrastructure facilities for its industry partners. The innovation, with the advantage of complete independence and controllable R&D, build value connectors for businesses and institutions by providing safe and efficient solutions based on scenarios.

In addition, Tencent’s blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform - Tencent blockchain, an open platform of the blockchain basic service in Tencent, is also in open beta stage. According to Tencent’s plan, Tencent blockchain, with Tencent Financial Technology’s leading capabilities in big data, AI, third-party payment and other technical fields, will provide integrated solutions for enterprises to get access to Tencent blockchain faster and easier.

“The great ideal and hard reality is the main contradiction at the current stage in the blockchain industry, because the technology is still lingering at the social experiment stage where the process of identifying scenarios is quite confused. Therefore, blockchain technology, driven by the scenario, should be applied to solving actual pain points and promote technological upgrades”, said Cai Weige. In the application of blockchain, more emphasis should be put on practical use rather than form. In the future, blockchain should be applied in all kinds of scenarios. The public chain and the alliance chain are adaptable to different scenarios, and decentralized, multi-centered and weakly-centralized blockchains each have their own value.

Cai Weige said: “People tend to overestimate the short-term influence and underestimate the long-term influence of new technologies, which is also true to blockchain. In the future, Tencent will work with industry partners to jointly explore the development direction of blockchain and promote the realization of more blockchain application scenarios.”