China’s “super app” WeChat now supports the payment of personal and corporate taxes as private companies and the Chinese government push ahead with the digitization of public services, reports Tencent Tech.
In the provinces of Hunan, Fujian, Henan and the east Chinese city of Qingdao, pilot programs were introduced with the support of the Chinese central bank and tax administration.
After declaring their tax online or offline, WeChat allows taxpayers to scan a QR code generated by the tax department to make a payment. The procedure can be carried out online or at the tax office.
WeChat payments are linked to a government tax information processing system established in 2006. Payments are approved and confirmed by the state tax authority.
The project is not the first of its kind. Previously, local governments introduced tax systems that enable digital payments. In February, the Shandong Taxation Bureau confirmed the implementation of WeChat tax payments. In April, the Guangdong Provincial Tax Service launched a “cloud tax payment” project that allows taxpayers to pay with either Alipay or WeChat.
Aside from taxes, in response to the focus on digitization, China’s tech companies are offering various government services on their platforms, with Alibaba and Tencent in charge.
In September, the Jiangsu Province government started issuing electronic marriage certificates through Alipay. Couples could apply for the certificate in the Jiangsu Government Affairs mini-program.
In October, the Beijing government started accepting traffic fines payments through Alipay or WeChat. Earlier this month, the southern city of Guangzhou issued its first dog driver license to a resident through Alipay. Chinese nationals can also apply for digital IDs, health cards and, in some cases, travel documents.
In addition, Alipay and WeChat users can view their social security records and utility bills, make appointments at hospitals, and access apartment rentals.