U.S. technology giant IBM has agreed to let China review it’s source code for some of its products. IBM has become one of the first of a few major U.S. tech firm to comply with China’s demands for a stronger hand in foreign technology. The move could result in other tech firms following in IBM’s footsteps.
Chinese officials will be allowed to examine IBM’s source code in a company-controlled room. Source code is a list of commands and instructions assembled in technology products. The move is in part to reassure Chinese officials that IBM doesn’t give the U.S government access to client data or build “back doors” in it’s technology.
Allegations of hacking, espionage and cyber warfare have long been a source of friction in U.S.-China relations. IBM isn’t the first U.S. company to allow Chinese officials access to their source code. In 2003, Microsoft signed an agreement with China, giving officials access to their Windows 7 source code.
Some experts said China’s reliance on foreign technology was considered a national security weakness. If the decision by IBM would succeed, striking an alliance with Chinese government officials would give the company greater access to market share.