An anonymous reader alerts us to a two-week-old story that hasn't gotten much traction in the press to date. A Japanese newspaper and the AP report that China plans to demand source code from hardware manufacturers, and ban the sale of products from companies that don't comply. China is calling this an "obligatory accreditation system for IT security products." The plan is to go into effect next May, according to sources. "Products expected to be subject to the system are those equipped with secret coding, such as [a] contactless smart card system developed by Sony Corp., digital copiers, and computer servers. The Chinese government said it needs the source code to prevent computer viruses taking advantage of software vulnerabilities and to shut out hackers. However, this explanation is unlikely to satisfy concerns that disclosed information might be handed from the Chinese government to Chinese companies. There also are fears that Chinese intelligence services could exploit such confidential information by making it easier to break codes used in... digital devices."