GOP senators want to ban Chinese digital currency from US apps and app stores

Getty Images | Diyun Zhu

Three Republican senators are proposing a law banning app stores from offering apps that accept payments using China’s digital currency. The “Defending Americans from Authoritarian Digital Currencies Act” would prohibit app stores in the United States from offering or supporting any app “that supports or enables e-CNY transactions”, also known as digital yuan or digital renminbi.

App stores would also be prohibited from supporting or enabling digital yuan transactions. The bill defines an application store broadly as “a publicly available website, software application, or other electronic service that distributes applications from third-party developers to users of a computer, mobile device, or any other general purpose computing device”.

The bill was proposed by Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Mike Braun (R-Indiana) and Marco Rubio (R-Florida). “The Chinese Communist Party will use its digital currency to control and spy on everyone who uses it. We cannot give China that chance – the United States should reject China’s attempt to undermine our economy to its lowest level. more basic,” Cotton said in a statement Thursday.

Braun said that “the digital yuan allows direct control and access to the financial lives of individuals. We cannot allow this authoritarian regime to use their state-controlled digital currency as an instrument to infiltrate our economy and private information of U.S. citizens”.

The ban could affect WeChat and Alipay

As Reuters reported, the introduction of the legislation “comes after WeChat, a Chinese-owned Tencent-owned messaging and payment app with more than 1.2 billion users, announced it would start supporting supports currency earlier this year. Alipay, the hugely popular payment app owned by Jack Ma’s Ant Group, also accepts digital currency. Both apps are available in the Apple and Google app stores.”

Rubio called China’s digital currency a “major financial and surveillance risk” and said, “It makes no sense to tie us to the digital currency of a genocidal regime that hates us and wants to replace us on the world stage. “.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Embassy in Washington called the legislation “another example of America’s wanton bullying of foreign companies by abusing state power on the untenable terrain of national security.” , according to Reuters.

In March, nine Republican senators proposed a series of reports and standards to study and manage the risks posed by the digital yuan.

Sylvia B. Polson