Beijing implements blockchain invoicing for enhanced transparency

Beijing has announced that it will implement blockchain invoicing as it seeks to enhance transparency for its tax payers. In an announcement by its tax bureau, the city stated that the use of blockchain will also allow it to reduce costs and make it easier for the tax payers to authenticate the invoices.

Beijing, which is China’s second largest city, will rely on the immutable nature of the blockchain to enhance transparency for its tax payers. In its announcement, the Beijing Municipal Tax Service stated, “To reduce taxpayers operating costs, save social resources, increase consumer convenience for saving invoices and build a healthy and fair tax environment. The tax bureau of Beijing has decided to pilot the application of blockchain electronic general invoice.”

It will cover VAT special invoices and the ordinary VAT invoices, including unified invoices for motor vehicle sales, the bureau revealed. The invoice code will be 12 digits, with an eight-digit invoice number.

The bureau advised the tax payers to verify the authenticity of the invoices through its official website. It stated, “The information recorded in the electronic common invoices shall be consistent with the results obtained on the website.” It urged the tax payers to reject any electronic invoice with inconsistent results and to report such occurrences promptly.

The blockchain invoicing will be implemented gradually, starting off with general invoices for parking tickets in the pilot. It will eventually incorporate the other sectors after the initial pilot phase. For the consumers, it will be easy to issue, with one only requiring a computer or a phone with an Internet connection.

The project is part of China’s bid to implement blockchain technology in governance, an initiative spearheaded by its president Xi Jinping. The Asian country has established itself as a global leader in the space, taking advantage of the U.S’ lax approach. Xi Jinping’s greenlight to Chinese companies to innovate more using blockchain in October last year has been crucial in the development of the technology in the country. For instance, immediately after his speech recognizing the potential of the technology, searches for ‘blockchain’ spiked 6,000% on WeChat.

Consequently, Chinese companies have embraced blockchain, with the major tech giants leading the pack. Two months ago, Baidu launched Xuperchain, its own blockchain solution that makes developing applications powered by the technology easy, cheap and fast. The country also passed the Password Law on January 1 this year, its first step in its digital currency rollout.

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