Digital Yuan to be showcased at Summer World University Games in China.

In July, student-athletes from around the world will have the opportunity to use China’s digital yuan during the Summer World University Games in Chengdu. The CBDC will be used officially at the games, making it the first “major international sports event” to do so since the Beijing Winter Olympics, according to Chinese media outlet The Cover. The Summer World University Games is a biannual event where university students from around the world compete in sports such as athletics, rowing, swimming, gymnastics, and tennis.

The organizers of the event have created public digital yuan wallets that will be used by the event’s Executive Committee. They also claim that they have had initial success in using the CBDC for event-related scenarios such as catering, medical care, and transport. The event will take place in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, and nearby Jianyang County from July 28 to August 8, with athletes from 34 nations competing. A torch relay starting from Peking University began this week.

The Digital Yuan at the Summer World University Games

The state-owned commercial bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), is the event’s official partner. The ICBC launched a digital yuan wallet in 2020, making it one of the first banks in China to do so. However, it is not yet clear if athletes will be issued with digital yuan hard wallets, as was the case during the Beijing Winter Olympics. During the Olympics, the only forms of payment accepted at Olympic Village outlets were Visa card payments and the digital yuan.

Efforts to showcase the digital yuan during the Beijing Winter Olympics were hindered by the pandemic, which meant no spectators were allowed at the event. Officials in the Chinese financial sector hope to showcase the digital yuan on a larger scale at the Asian Games in September. Commemorative, wearable, games-themed digital yuan hard wallets have already been developed ahead of the opening ceremony. Public transport networks in and around Hangzhou have also been upgraded to accept digital yuan payments.

Student Athletes to Use CBDC?

The Summer World University Games were originally scheduled to take place in Chengdu in 2021. However, the event was postponed due to the pandemic and clashes with other Olympic events. The games will now be held under the abbreviated name “Chengdu 2021” despite taking place two years late. An event had originally been planned to take place in Russia’s Yekaterinburg this year, but it was cancelled by the International University Sports Federation following the outbreak of war in 2022.