The Chinese port of Shenzhen is progressing with blockchain initiatives in a major way. After setting up a virtual blockchain exchange and blockchain-based city and port management systems, the municipality looks towards solving the problem of invoicing and customer claims using the technology, reported local publication Economic Daily.
What’s going on here?
Partnering with Chinese technology giant Tencent, the state administration of taxation in Shenzhen has connected an indigenous blockchain invoice system with the former’s widely-popular WeChat service.
Most people that do not live in China aren’t aware of the wide usage of WeChat within the country. Anything from food stands to sending money to friends can be done within WeChat.
People even send “red envelops” as gifts to their friends using WeChat. WeChat is more than just a social app in China, but an all in one network for payments, news, and many more.
The first participant of the blockchain-based invoicing platform was a local coffee shop in Shenzhen’s Nanshan district. Although famous, the café employs a traditional paper-based invoicing system to maintain records, causing slow invoicing speeds, long waiting lines, and confused merchants.
However, on December 11, 2018, the café deployed WeChat’s blockchain invoicing system and payment service and reportedly witnessed significant benefits.
So, how is the port going to use blockchain with WeChat?
Blockchain could help authorities free up restrictions on the application, usage, and denomination of invoices, in addition to helping businesses and individuals generate invoices on demand that are customized and extemp from complicated tax collection processes.
Everything that comes through the port could be automated. Imagine having an item ship over to China while getting held at the port and having to manually reach out to an authority to pay your fees. All of these will be automated through blockchain.
“Using the high penetration rate of mobile payment, we open the WeChat payment receipt channel and provide a general import of electronic invoices for blockchains. After consumers pay for WeChat payment, they can automatically view all the invoices and past payment. The vast number of consumers have provided convenient and quick access to channels.” Li Wei, Director of the Department of Collection and Technology Development of Shenzhen Taxation Bureau