US senators have asked the US Olympic Committee to ban the use of China’s state digital currency at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
In April, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) announced that tourists and foreign athletes will be able to use digital yuan e-wallets while in the country. However, GOP MPs Marsha Blackburn, Cynthia Lummis and Roger Wicker fear that this would pose a privacy threat to the United States as the Chinese authorities could use the digital yuan to spy on users.
Senators have sent a letter to the chairman of the US Olympic Committee, Suzanne Lyons, demanding to ban athletes from using the NBK digital currency during the Beijing Olympics. The senators’ address says:
“We cannot allow American athletes to be turned into a Trojan horse that the Chinese Communist Party will use to spy on the United States. All participants in the Olympic Games should be aware that the digital yuan can be used to monitor Chinese citizens and foreign tourists. The Chinese authorities hope that people will keep their digital yuan wallets and continue to use them even after they return to their country. ”
Senators expressed concerns that the introduction of the digital yuan into international trade could have many negative consequences. According to them, the Chinese Communist Party is already using the latest technology to persecute Uighurs, Hong Kong residents and other minorities in China seeking freedom of expression. In addition, mobile payment platforms such as WeChat are already being used to spy on Chinese citizens, senators said.
This is not the first time the US has spoken out against the digital yuan. In May, analysts at the American consulting company Oliver Wyman said it could disrupt the work of the international banking system SWIFT and foreign banks.