WeChat is an application, developed for multi-purpose messaging, payment transactions and social media postings. It is designed by Tencent Holdings Limited. With its release in 2011, it has now become one of the top largest individual mobile apps with over 1 billion active users every month. The blockchain account process, which includes payment and reimbursement, was designed in affiliation with Shenzhen Taxation Bureau and Kingdee Software. It was initially designed to make the procedure of compensating for company employee expenses simpler. Earlier documented, electronically processed invoices led to a burdensome and extended procedure of account verification, submission, appraisal, and tax returns filing. All of these tasks had to be completed prior to settling with the employees.
WeChat has made lives easier by designing a blockchain electronic invoice system for the Shenzhen Guomao Rotary Restaurant. This makes Shenzhen city the very first one in China to give invoices using blockchain technology. This has been seen as a step taken towards a better future. It is famous in China for being extremely multi-functional and economical, due to the wide range of functions it carries within. Apart from China, it is also famous in Bhutan for its messaging service. With this blockchain invoice system, the process is substantially shortened, removing all intermediary actions between invoicing and reimbursement. Any payment made through the WeChat self-checkout is thus effectively a one-click reimbursement process.
Will WeChat create an ecosystem of its own given the wide range of functions it carries?
When it came out as an app for mobile wallet and mini-programs, it was a huge success. And that success led to WeChat evolving into a mini world of its own with programs that include all sorts of various categories like gaming, e-commerce and food delivery. This expansion has helped gain more customer base of every age and interest. Recently, it has even become a platform for debating on different social and political topics. WeChat has also been blamed for expurgation of politically intense topics in China, consisting of human rights abuses.
Citizen Lab states;
WeChat performs censorship on the server-side, which means that messages sent over the app pass through a remote server that contains rules for implementing censorship. If the message includes a keyword that has been targeted for blocking, the entire message will not be sent.
Benefits that WeChat has to offer for employees
WeChat offers multiple benefits for employees of any company. They can make payments using the WeChat mobile payment platform. The incoming data after making the transaction, becomes the invoice after which it is synchronized to the monetary system of employee’s business and the tax agency. In this way, the data is not lost in the process making it way simpler for all the other groups involved in the procedure like the mercantile, the company, tax establishments and the employee.
The employers get to be time efficient as the invoices are issued mechanically at checkout. This is way better than the traditional system where the invoice is issued manually and there is no need for manual entry of information of the employee’s business for taxation purposes. The employee’s company, on its part, can easily verify invoice by simply logging into its financial system. The tax officer gets to monitor the procedure that consists of invoicing, transactions and repayments in actual time. This ensures a complete and on-time tax collection, at the same time the employee gets to claim their payments online.
Quartz reported in May 2018 that Tencent-Shenzen Partnership started giving out shareholder dividends using WeChat. This one-stop invoicing solution is an outcome of a partnership between Tencent and The Shenzhen Municipal Office of the State Administration of Taxation. In relation to that, Li Wei, deputy director of Shenzhen tax bureau, said:
The digital invoice based on blockchain technology has features such as complete traceability of the whole process and non-disruptive information, which consistent with invoices logic, can effectively avoid false invoices, and improve the invoice supervision process.
The biggest benefit up to now has however been the speeding up of the procedure related to reimbursement of expenses for business workers, and it’s the best and most loved feature on the WeChat app so far. It is at its best, a company’s hope that the system will fasten up and the reimbursement procedure would quicken up as an outcome. It would also help to reduce the chances of manual errors to the bare minimum. Its lack would otherwise have caused falsified receipts.
Many businesses are trying to integrate this app in their system for a trial period, some of which consist of a parking lot at Shenzhen’s Bao’An Stadium, a car repair hub and an eatery owned by Tencent. In China, it is a requirement for traders to buy a number of receipts, called fapiao, from the establishments in order to perform as advance tax payments before the occurrence of any sales. While these are being issued, the difference between the prepaid total and the tax from sales is calculated by the traders in order to offer a starting figure for the next set of tax payments. But falsified receipts are common in China as a means of tax evasion. Therefore WeChat is a method by Tencent to have the issuance procedure in a traceable blockchain, as it would also offer the tax establishments a time and cost effective taxation system.