Sen. Marsha Blackburn, a Republican from the state of Tennessee, made an appearance on conservative-leaning news network Newsmax, where she said that American athletes should be banned from being able to use China’s digital yuan currency during the 2022 Winter Beijing Olympic Games due to the communist country’s habit of putting spyware in its digital systems.
“The danger of this is that once you have them into your wallet, this is (tech giant) Huawei, this is the Chinese Communist Party,” Blackburn went on to say during an interview on “American Agenda” Tuesday. “Once you have given them access to your wallet, they’re going to be there. They are known for embedding spyware into both their hardware and their software.”
Blackburn and other Republican Senators urged the U.S. Olympic Committee last week to prohibit US athletes from using the new Chinese digital currency because of that nation’s ability and practice of inserting spyware in technology that could transmit a person’s information to Beijing.
“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 Senators stated in a letter addressed to the Olympic Committee July 20, according to a South China Morning Post article that was recently published.
According to the Bank of China, the currency has already funded some 70.8 million transactions worth 34.5 billion yuan, or $5.3 billion in US dollars in the last two years of trials for the currency.
Almost 21 million people have created digital wallets for the new currency, according to the story.
The Chinese bank is hoping to make the new currency popular during the 2022 Olympic Games by using “wearable” payment devices like gloves, badges, and clothes, for people to use at the various venues as well as self-service carts, and vending machines.
“There is a danger, and it is truly a concern of ours because people will be unsuspecting that they are downloading the spyware, and that it is now housed in their device, in their systems, and this gives the Chinese Communist Party the opportunity to build a profile of you,” Blackburn went on to say. “As I call it, your virtual you, so they would know your spending habits, they would know your movements.”
Of course, these comments from Blackburn did not sit well with the Chinese government, who responded by saying the Senators’ allegations demonstrated how little they actually understand the new currency.
“We suggest they figure out what a digital currency really is,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian stated earlier last week. “The U.S. politicians should abide by the spirit stipulated in the Olympic Charter, stop making sports a political matter, and stop making troubles out of the digital currency in China.”
"*" indicates required fields