Ban on Chinese employees due to 'cyber threats' list: GitLab

By Wang Qi Published: 2019/11/6 0:53:03

Photo: IC

Open-core platform GitLab replied to the Global Times on Tuesday and admitted the decision to block Chinese and Russian employees was made due to an unstable domestic atmosphere in the US after the country's security authorities listed China among countries seen as "cyber threats."

According to Natasha Woods, senior manager of corporate communications with Gitlab, the company is still reviewing the listings.

Woods told the Global Times that the move by the cyber security division of the US Department of Homeland Security has caused wide ranging concerns for companies worried about their users' data as people working as support engineers and site reliability engineers are allowed to access the data.

The earlier announcement banned Chinese and Russians from those two roles. The company currently does not have team members from China, Russia or North Korea working in those two roles, Woods noted. However, she stressed the company has employees from more than 60 countries, emphasizing its inclusiveness.

"Each country has unique and complex rules, laws and regulations, which can affect how we conduct business, as well as the employability of citizens of those countries," Woods said.

GitLab was criticized by its own employees and the public after it announced it would not hire engineers from China or Russia. According to the earlier decision, current staff members are also prohibited from moving to these countries.

Candice Ciresi, the company's director of global risk and compliance, opposed the decision, saying that it is contradictory as the company boasts that it accepts any customer not prohibited by law, but at the same time blocks China and Russia based on "perceived political climate."


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