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27 July


GitLab forbids holding important posts to the Chinese and Russians

The company also does not permit employees to rest in these countries now

Photo: SCMP

/NOVOSTIVL/ San Francisco-based GitLab, an open platform for developing and collaborating on coding, is looking at suspending new hiring for sensitive positions in China and Russia because of customer feedback in the "current geopolitical climate". This article appeared in the SCMP.

In a post published on GitLab’s website, one of the company’s executives said the venture wanted to enable a "job family country block" for team members who have access to customer data and singled out two countries involved in the decision - China and Russia. The post also says current team members should be prevented from moving to these two countries.

The decision, according to Eric Johnson, vice-president of engineering at GitLab, came after the "expressed concern of several enterprise customers", and was also to align with what is becoming "a common practice" in the industry in the current geopolitical climate. He noted that it affected "zero current employees".

"We do not make offers to individuals residing in these countries. Current team members are prevented from moving to these countries and remaining in a role that prohibits it," - Johnson wrote two weeks ago in the "issues" section on the company’s site, soliciting internal discussions among various departments.

In a statement on Tuesday, GitLab clarified its position.

"We currently do not have team members for the roles ‘Support Engineers’ and ‘Site Reliability Engineers’ in countries that are identified on the US Department of Homeland Security Cyber Security list of threats, namely China, Russia, and North Korea," - said GitLab.

The controversial post has drawn heated discussion both within GitLab and across the Pacific ever since some of China’s tech news channels picked it up on Monday. By singling out China and Russia, the decision adds to fears that a digital iron curtain is becoming real, with China and the US going their separate ways when it comes to technology and innovation.