E-invoicing has been gradually introduced in China, starting with the B2C segment – in some cases by mandating large amounts of taxpayers in the public service sector to issue VAT e-invoices to their customers.
Whilst e-invoicing is not yet fully permitted, the issuance of e-invoices has been widely accepted in B2C instances for several years. They are mandatory in certain core service-based industries including telecommunications and public transportation. Invoices are issued via the national system with hardware and software certified by the state authority.
A pilot program was launched in September 2020, which enables specific taxpayers operating within China to voluntarily issue VAT special e-invoices. Special invoices are used to claim input VAT and are generally used in B2B transactions.