Republicans raise concerns about Olympians using digital yuan during Beijing Games

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.)
Greg Nash

Republican lawmakers are raising concerns about U.S. Olympians using digital yuan during the upcoming 2022 Beijing Winter Games. 

Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) sent a letter on Monday to the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) about not allowing participating athletes to use the Chinese government-developed digital currency during the Olympics.

The GOP senators noted that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) may use the digital currency to spy on U.S. athletes, according to the statement. 

“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 group said in their letter. 

“These concerns are not hypothetical. Rather, digital payment platforms such as WeChat, are already being used to surveil, threaten, and arrest Chinese citizens.”

Mobile pay has become increasingly popular in China. The country’s central bank announced last week that foreigners in China would be able to use mobile pay apps even if they don’t have a domestic bank account. 

The letter added that it’s “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,” the letter said. 

“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 senators wrote.

The letter comes as fellow GOP Sen.Tom Cotton (Ark.) sent a letter to President Biden in June expressing concern about China trying to collect USA athletes’ DNA during the Olympics.

Tags 2022 Beijing Olympics Beijing China Cynthia Lummis digital currency Joe Biden Marsha Blackburn Tom Cotton United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee
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