Senators Urge U.S. Olympic Committee to Prohibit Athletes from Using Digital Yuan in 2022 Olympics

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Posted: Jul 19, 2021 5:45 PM
Senators Urge U.S. Olympic Committee to Prohibit Athletes from Using Digital Yuan in 2022 Olympics

Source: AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

On Monday, several Republican United States senators penned a letter to the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) urging them to forbid American athletes from acquiring or utilizing the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) digital currency payment, also known as “digital yuan,” throughout the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. 

Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) were the three senators who signed the letter to Susanne Lyons, board chair of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

“We write to express our concerns with the communist Chinese government’s plans to officially launch the Digital Currency Electronic Payment, commonly referred to as the digital yuan, prior to the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022,” the letter states. “Specifically, we urge the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) to forbid American athletes from receiving or using digital yuan during the Beijing Olympics.”

According to the letter, digital yuan can be downloaded on users’ smartphones, which then poses a security risk. The letter describes how certain “key features” of the digital currency allow the Chinese government to know the exact details of what an individual purchased and where. Furthermore, the letter notes that the Chinese government is known to use upcoming technological innovations to survey, threaten, and arrest their citizens.

On Twitter, Blackburn said “The CCP employs digital payment platforms to surveil, threaten, & arrest Chinese citizens. I championed the effort alongside @SenatorWicker & @SenLummis to forbid American athletes from using the CCP's Digital Yuan during the Beijing Olympics.”

“The integration of China’s digital currency into global commerce has many problematic privacy implications,” the letter continues. “It is paramount the USOPC works with the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Treasury, and the U.S. Department of Commerce to protect the privacy of American athletes from the Chinese Communist Government.”

To close the letter, the senators requested a briefing from the USOPC within a month.

“A briefing on this request for Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation members within 30-days of receipt of this letter would be particularly helpful,” the letter states. 

The 2022 Olympics are scheduled to span February 2 until February 22, 2022.