US Senators Want American Athletes to Boycott Digital Yuan At Winter Olympics
Senators in the United States do not want American athletes to use China's central bank digital currency (CBDC) at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
US Senators Say Digital Yuan Use Can Infringe Privacy
US Senators Cynthia Lummis, Marsha Blackburn, and Roger Wicker, in an open letter to the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee chair, want American athletes to boycott the digital yuan at the event in Beijing.
The trio said the digital yuan is controlled entirely and can be tracked and traced by the People's Bank of China, thereby infringing on privacy.
According to Lummis, Blackburn, and Wicker, messaging and payment app WeChat is already being used to surveil, threaten, and arrest Chinese citizens.
Although the Chinese Communist Party insists that the CBDC is only aimed at digitizing their currency, the Senators think Olympic athletes should be careful because the digital yuan can be used for surveillance.
“Olympic athletes should be aware that the digital yuan may be used to surveil Chinese citizens and those visiting China on an unprecedented scale, with the hopes that they will maintain digital yuan wallets on their smartphones and continue to use it upon return,” the letter read.
The letter ended with the senators urging the Olympic committee to work with federal agencies to protect the privacy of US athletes from the Chinese Communist Government.
They also requested a briefing on the topic for the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation within 30 days.
China's Plan To Roll Out Digital Yuan For Use At Olympics
In April, Chinese officials revealed plans to roll out the digital yuan for wider use during the Winter Olympics. The PBoC said it wanted to let foreign athletes and visitors use the CBDC, marking the first of such tests by fvisitorsin China.
Since last year, China has been carrying out its digital yuan pilot trials to residents in different provinces across the country.
China remains a leader when it comes to CBDC actualization. The country's move to embrace a digital currency has evoked concerns in the US, with the project being cited as part of efforts by the Chinese to undermine dollar dominance.
The deputy governor of China's central bank, Li Bo previously responded to these claims in an interview with CNBC. He said the PBoC was only focused on how the digital yuan could be used in the domestic economy rather than replacing the US dollar's dominance on the international market.