Three Republican state senators have asked the US Olympic committee to ban access to China's digital yuan for Beijing 2022 athletes over surveillance concerns
- Republican senators Marsha Blackburn, Roger Wicker and Cynthia Lummis wrote to the US Olympic committee with the request.
digital yuanis controlled and issued by the government.
- The senators cited concern over potential surveillance for anyone using the WeChat payment platform.
Three Republican state senators have written to the US Olympic committees asking for China's digital yuan not to be made available to athletes taking part in the Beijing 2022 Winter Games to protect their privacy.
Marsha Blackburn, Tennessee senator, Roger Wicker for Mississippi and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, wrote to the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee on Monday to make the request on behalf of the competitors.
The three said they were concerned the digital coin could be used as a mechanism to surveil the athletes. The digital yuan, which is still in trial stages, will eventually be used to trace all movements of money.
"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 said.
China's digital yuan project has taken seven years to complete and is controlled and issued by the government. It is further ahead than other major economies in releasing a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
In the letter, the senators raised the risk of WeChat, a Chinese digital payment app, potentially being employed as a surveillance tool.
The digital app can censor speech and be used to track down those who voice dissent against the government, Wall Street Journal reported back in December.
"These concerns are especially pronounced given the Chinese Communist Party's use of new and emerging technologies to suppress the Uyghur minority, the people of Hong Kong, and those across China who strive for freedom of expression," the letter said.
The senators called for the Olympic body to work with the US Department of State, the US Department of Treasury, and the US Department of Commerce to protect the privacy of American athletes.
They said they hoped a briefing in response to their letter would be put together within 30 days of receipt.
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