US Senate to ban Google, Apple app stores from hosting China’s e-CNY
The US Senate could pass new legislation to ban hosting China’s e-CNY – also known as the digital yuan – by US app stores like Apple store, Google Play, and other providers.
Citing concerns that Beijing could use it to spy on US citizens, three Republican senators have launched a bill titled “the Defending Americans from Authoritarian Digital Currencies Act.” The bill keeps a check on China’s digital yuan to protect users’ personal information from being tracked.
The proposed legislation is sponsored by Florida senator and former presidential candidate Marco Rubio, Arkansas senator Tom Cotton, and Indiana senator Mike Braun. They said they had concerns over the digital surveillance and privacy of citizens and foreign users due to China’s rollout of its CBDC.
The introduction of this new legislation explains that the digital RMB is built on blockchain technology and as a consequence, gives China more power over its financial system.
“The Chinese Communist Party will use its digital currency to control and spy on anyone who uses it. The United States should reject China’s attempt to undermine our economy at its most basic level. It makes no sense to tie ourselves to the digital currency of a genocidal regime that hates us and wants to replace us on the world stage. This is a major financial and surveillance risk that the United States cannot afford to take,” said Tom Cotton.
The Arkansas senator added the e-CNY could give the Chinese government “real-time visibility into all transactions on the network, posing privacy and security concerns for American persons who join this network.”
A beta version of the digital yuan app was officially launched for iOS and Android on Chinese app stores. The coin has been available to some users in China for over a year under limited pilot programs, and a few cities have begun experimenting with it for paying income tax, stamp duty and social security premiums.
Earlier in March, Republican senators also proposed legislation aimed at directing US government agencies to set regulations and guidelines concerning China’s digital yuan. The act also requires any foreign government that receives financial assistance from the US to disclose if it uses Digital Yuan.
The Say No to the Silk Road Act suggests – among other concerns – that the Chinese cryptocurrency could allow countries like Russia to bypass sanctions and enable China to violate the rights of their citizens.
The e-CNY app, which essentially involves physical cash converted into a digital form, is available on China’s Android app stores and Apple’s app store. The distribution of e-CNY takes place through a two-tier system that transfers the digital currency from China’s central bank to commercial banks, which are then distribute the currency directly to consumers.