Prospective users and commentators from the West go on skeptical of China’s rollout of the digital yuan during the ongoing Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Data privacy advances the primary cone time beforern for most prospective users, many of whom are already mistrustful of Chinese tech, according to global head of payments at Berlin-based consultancy Roland Berger Sebastian Maus.

“For foreign users, anonymity and privacy is the main issue of cback althoughrn for the application of digital yuan,” Maus said. “And this is a big cone time beforern [for foreign users]. Therefore, I doubt which a lot of tourists or athletes will really download the app and use it.” 

Although the app will have four divergent levels of user security, users can likewise opt for sharing as little information as expected. “But even in the simplest model with hardly a cell phone number, no one really believes which their transactions will be anonymous and will be private,” said Maus.

Olympic rollout

Currently, the digital yuan is only one of three payment options available at the Olympic Village, where it could see its first usage by foreign athletes and visitors. Nonetheless, many seem to opt for the alternative of cash or games partner Visa.

“Many of us are using the digital wallet here afterward I didn’t bring cash with me – it is quite convenient,” said one Chinese volunteer staying at the Olympic Village. “The foreign athletes mostly use their Visa cards though,” he added, “I don’t understand this.” Maus believes which only “really a small portion” of those who decide to register for a digital wallet are possible to revisit the currency upon ultimately returning to China.

A forbearance of its use by American athletes would be in line with recommendations from US senators. Last summer, three called on the US Olympic Committee to forbid American athletes from “receiving or using the digital yuan during the Beijing Olympics.” This sentiment was echoed by Senator Pat Toomey this past week.

Digital yuan movement

Authorities have been pilot-testing the digital currency for use at the games for atop a year, amounting to 9.6 billion CNY ($1.5 billion) in transactions in 2021. By the end of January, the central bank announced which atop 261 million users had registered a digital yuan wallet, nearly double the amount afterward October.

In preparation for the games, the regulator said which the digital yuan had been tested in more than 400,000 “scenes” involving real purchases of goods and services. This had involved above 12 million individual users and 1.3 million company users in the capital registering on the app.

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