China IS going big on blockchain technology. The country has started using this revolutionary technology in public services, and the first area to receive its benefits is public transport. In Shenzhen authorities have started issuing subway ride invoices backed by blockchain according to a local news report of Securities Daily. Since Shenzhen is first Special Economic Zone (SEZ) of China, this new e-invoicing system is not only going to make lives easier for its residents but also for authorities who used to work with an outdated system till date.
The system has been developed by Shenzhen Municipal Taxation Bureau in partnership with Tencent. The technology infrastructure of Tencent provides a credible backing to the system through company’s WeChat platform. The users can see a Shenzhen Metro passenger code on WeChat Payment voucher page after every ride, and by 15th of March the system had already issued more than a million electronic invoices backed by blockchain. The total value of those invoices was more than 1.33 billion Yuan, or $200 million (about 1,380 crore rupees).
It’s also important to note that the system is still in a pilot stage. Yep – it hasn’t been launched completely, and once launched it’s expected to generate more than 170,000 self-service invoices every day. The value of these invoices may run into billions of dollars.
A Shenzhen Municipal Taxation Bureau officials said in Securities Daily report that the introduction of this new system is a first step towards the improvement of e-invoicing for taxis, airports, buses, and other transportation services. The first announcement regarding the introduction of this system was made way back in December 2018, and it has been under the pilot stage since then.
It will be interesting to see which other cities of China roll-out same or similar invoicing systems after Shenzhen.