The Business Administration Department at China’s central bank has said it will push forward pilots of the e-CNY digital currency in the Winter Olympics area to cover all payment scenarios.

Fast facts

  • To promote the digital yuan for the Winter Games, two batches of e-CNY red packets were distributed in Beijing in February and June, totaling 50,000,000 yuan (US$7.7 million). People can use the currency to pay shops, restaurants and vending machines.
  • Some e-CNY payment hardware has also been introduced. At an e-CNY exhibition in April, ski gloves, badges, watches and bracelets with digital yuan payment functions were launched.
  • The deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China also said that foreign players at the Winter Olympics could use digital yuan wallets, allowing foreigners to use the currency anonymously for small payments for a short period. Three U.S. senators have called for a boycott of e-CNY, writing to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee to urge it to ban American athletes from using it due to privacy concerns.