China’s “super app” WeChat now supports personal and corporate tax payments, as private enterprises and the Chinese government push to digitize public services, reports Tencent Tech.
Pilot programs, backed by China’s central bank and tax administration, have been rolled out in the provinces of Hunan, Fujian, Henan, as well as the eastern Chinese city of Qingdao.
After declaring their tax online or offline, taxpayers can use WeChat to scan a QR code generated by the tax department to make a payment. The process can be completed online or at a tax office.
WeChat payments are linked to a state tax information processing system established in 2006. Payments are cleared and confirmed by the state tax department.
The project is not the first of its kind. Previously, local governments have launched tax systems allowing digital payments. In February, the Shandong Taxation Bureau confirmed the implementation of WeChat tax payments. In April, Guangdong Provincial Tax Service rolled out a “cloud tax payment” project, allowing taxpayers to pay with either Alipay or WeChat.
Aside from taxes, China’s tech companies have begun offering various government services on their platforms in response to a focus on digitization, with Alibaba and Tencent leading the charge.
In September, the government of Jiangsu province began 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 fine payments via Alipay or WeChat. Earlier this month, the southern city of Guangzhou issued the first dog 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 check their social insurance records and utility bills, make appointments at hospitals, and access house renting services.