On May 24th, the Shenzhen National Taxation Bureau and Tencent Corporation jointly held a signing ceremony to set up the “Intelligent Tax” Innovation Laboratory, focused on tax management modernization and fighting tax fraud using blockchain technology.
The Lab aims to promote technological innovation around taxation processes and will employ new technologies, such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and Big Data, for taxation management and electronic invoice applications, according to the official release.
It is reported that Shenzhen has a significant underground economy, whereby buyers use fake paperwork to evade taxes and defraud employers. It is challenging to detect forged or doctored receipts for tax collectors, small businesses and China’s state-run enterprises.
Ma Huateng, Tencent’s CEO and chairman of the board said during his speech that the Intelligent Tax lab is already working on a new digital invoice based on blockchain technology, which is a legally valid digital receipt that serves as proof of purchase for goods and services. He also mentioned that the blockchain-based solution will be the first product to be incubated at the lab.
According to the release, the product marks the nation’s first research into the application of blockchain for invoicing, and it will be based on Tencent’s blockchain platform.
Li Wei, deputy director of the Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of State Taxation, stated that the key features of the digital invoice based on the Blockchain tech include complete traceability and data security, which “can effectively avoid false invoices, and improve the invoice supervision process.”
He also added “We will promote tax modernization, optimize the taxation and business environment, and help improve Shenzhen’s economic quality.”