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IBM Bows to Beijings Pressure, Lets Government to Look at Source Code

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Published on : Oct 19, 2015

IBM has finally agreed to allow China to review source codes of some of its products. According to people close to the matter, the technology giant letting China to review its source codes makes it the first major U.S. firm to comply with the Chinese government’s demands to hold an upper hand in foreign technology. The company has started allowing officials from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in China to look at proprietary source code under a controlled environment. It has not been revealed yet that which IBM products are being reviewed or how much time the officials are taking while looking at the codes. People close to the matter have stated that the practice has been recently implemented.

IBM has mentioned that the practice of conducting limited tests in a controlled IBM environment has been allowed in order to reassure clients across various countries that their technology is not being accessed by the company. IBM has stressed that it is not giving government access to client data. The state media in China has reported that Steve Mills, the company’s senior Vice-president revealed the source-code sharing in a speech, adding that the company needs government’s support to continue its growth in the country.

It is to be noted that Beijing has been pressurizing the U.S. tech firms to reveal their source codes for a long time to ensure that there are no security threats. In order to gain market share in China, the U.S. firms have been joining hands with their Chinese counterparts. However, the companies have largely resisted the pressure for sharing source code, fearing that their Chinese competitors would copy the products.