# 1. Introduction to E-invoices

# 1.1 What Are E-invoices?

E-invoices refer to all the business vouchers stored and circulated in an electronic format that are issued and received when an organization or individual sells or purchases goods, provides or receives services, or engages in any other commercial activities. These invoices are all issued by tax authorities, carry a uniform national code, are subject to unified anti-counterfeiting measures, and have an electronic tax authority signature mechanism. E-invoices have the same legal force as paper invoices and can be used for reimbursement or to settle disputes.

"...Accelerate the widespread use of e-invoices, support the efforts of enterprises and operators to issue e-invoices according to relevant regulations, and allow e-invoices to be used as the basis for reimbursement..."

— No. 53 document of State Council released on September 26, 2015

"...E-invoices have the same legal force as paper invoices, and electronic ordinary VAT invoices shall be used throughout the country..."

— No. 84 document of State Administration of Taxation released on November 26, 2015

"...When satisfying the provisions of Article 8 of these Measures, the electronic accounting materials received by an organization from external parties shall have an electronic signature that complies with the provisions in the "Electronic Signature Law of the People's Republic of China". Such documents can be archived only in electronic format to form electronic accounting files..."

— No. 79 document of Ministry of Finance and National Archives Administration of China released on December 11, 2015

# 2. Glossary

The following are some common terms used when you apply the Weixin e-invoice solution and debug relevant APIs. We suggest you read this section to better understand the definitions of the terms and their references.
Users refer to Weixin users. They are the people who initiate requests for issuing e-invoices, hold these e-invoices after they are issued, and use these e-invoices for reimbursement. There are different types of users in different scenarios and we may refer to them using different names. For instance, users who obtain invoices in consumption scenarios are called "consumers", while users who use invoices to request reimbursement are called "employees".
Consumers are users who make a payment in a consumption scenario, and request and receive an e-invoice.
Employees are users who submit e-invoices to their company to request and receive reimbursement.
Merchants are the entities that provide products or services to users and receive payments from users in consumption scenarios. When a consumer requests an e-invoice, the merchant provides the invoice to the consumer.
Invoicing platforms
An invoicing platform is a third-party platform that provides tax control device connection, and e-invoice issuing and storage services for merchants.
Merchants with self-deployed platforms
Merchants with self-deployed platforms are large merchants who directly purchase tax control devices and construct an invoicing platform in their intranet to improve data security and performance. Such merchants are characterized by the following features: invoice PDFs are generated and saved in the merchant's intranet, and invoice query services are provided to users by the merchant itself.
Invoice cards
Invoice cards are the form in which e-invoices are saved in Weixin Cards & Offers. These cards record the basic invoice information and are linked to the invoice PDFs.
Card creators
A card creator is the entity that generates an invoice card and, after the user grants authorization, saves the card in the user's Cards & Offers. The card creator must possess the e-invoice PDF file and provide stable invoice PDF download services.
E-invoice PDFs
The e-invoice PDF is the electronic file of the invoice in PDF format. It can also be referred to as the invoice PDF. In addition to displaying invoice information in the specified format, the e-invoice PDF also includes the invoicing merchant's signature and seal in the lower-right corner. Invoice PDFs can be opened with Adobe PDF Reader and you can double-click the invoicer's signature and seal to see the invoicing merchant's name and other information.
Payment providers
Payment providers are providers that provide mobile payment access service software and Internet applications for invoicing merchants. They also provide order systems for merchants, which include merchant order data and certain system development and integration capabilities.
Reimbursing companies
A reimbursing company is the company for which employees work. The company receives the e-invoices submitted by employees and, after necessary financial procedures are completed, reimburses the employees for the submitted e-invoices. When e-invoices are submitted to the reimbursing company, their structured data is used to generate reimbursement records and the invoice PDFs are archived as financial documents.
Reimbursement providers
A reimbursement provider provides stand-alone reimbursement software or SaaS reimbursement applications and Internet services for the reimbursing company.

# 3. Introduction to the Weixin E-invoice Solution

From a macro perspective, e-invoices are a many-to-many information transfer process: e-invoices are provided by multiple merchants, saved and archived by users, and then submitted to multiple reimbursing companies as vouchers for reimbursement. For both merchants and reimbursing companies, the need to interact with multiple parties results in extremely high communication and development costs. To solve this pain point and make it easier to use e-invoices, Weixin provides a complete e-invoice solution centered on users.
In this solution, merchants use invoicing platforms to issue e-invoices, which are saved in users' Cards & Offers once the users grant authorization. Users can then view and manage their e-invoices in Cards & Offers. When they require reimbursement, users can use their OA company account or mobile office app to fetch the list of e-invoices in Cards & Offers and select the e-invoices to submit for reimbursement. Then, the reimbursing company receives the structured data of the e-invoices and their PDF files to complete reimbursement.

# 3.1 Interactions in Each Stage

The process of e-invoices being stored in users' Cards & Offers
As different merchants have different invoicing time, Weixin designs an invoice issuance and delivery process that requires user authorization before cards are inserted. This decouples the process of users submitting invoice requests from the process of users receiving invoices. In this way, invoices are reliably sent to users when the users are properly informed.

In the frontend authorization process, a merchant passes its invoicing ID as the parameter to fetch the authorization page, and a user taps the button on the authorization page to grant authorization. Weixin then links the invoicing ID. After the invoicing platform completes invoicing, you can call the Weixin invoice card insertion API on the backend with the authorized invoicing ID. After Weixin verifies the authorization status of the invoicing ID, it adds the invoice to the user's Cards & Offers, and informs the user that the invoice has been delivered. For the detailed API documentation, see Selecting a Business Mode.

Forms of saved invoices
Issued e-invoices are saved as cards in users' Cards & Offers. To access invoices, go to Me > Cards & Offers > Tickets & Licenses. Tap an e-invoice to view the summary information. You can view the invoice's PDF file on the invoice details page.

Reimbursement process
Reimbursing companies can use the invoice reimbursement API provided by Weixin to obtain the e-invoices that have been submitted by users.
Users can tap the Weixin HTML5 page or the relevant button in an independent app to fetch the list of their e-invoices in Weixin, view the saved e-invoices, and select required e-invoices to submit for reimbursement. After the user confirms submission, the reimbursing company can receive the invoice ID information, call the relevant API to query the invoice's structured information and PDF file, and complete the reimbursement process.
For the detailed API documentation, see Reimbursement Scenarios.

# 4. Resource Downloads

The Weixin e-invoice solution allows you to save and submit invoices by calling APIs within Weixin or from an independent app. To allow the independent app to call Weixin e-invoice capabilities, you must download the Weixin e-invoice SDK.
iOS SDK download: http://open.weixin.qq.com/cgi-bin/showdocument?action=dir_list&t=resource/res_list&verify=1&id=open1419319164&token=&lang=zh_CN
Android SDK download: http://open.weixin.qq.com/cgi-bin/showdocument?action=dir_list&t=resource/res_list&verify=1&id=open1419319167&token=&lang=zh_CN

# 5. Industry-specific Solutions

Based on the merchants and invoicing platforms that have applied Weixin e-invoices, we have developed several industry-specific solutions to help merchants quickly adopt the best practices that suit them.
To obtain Weixin e-invoice industry-specific solutions, go to the Weixin Company Tax Services Platform.

# 6. Documentation Updates

The Weixin e-invoice document will be regularly updated. We will revise and update it and set forth new rules based on new problems, applicable laws, industry policies, or current product operation requirements to ensure Weixin users' experience. We suggest that developers and partners check this document for updates and review it regularly to know about the latest updates. Developers and partners can also follow the Official Account "Invoice Assistant" to receive prompt notifications of document updates and changes.