Amazon Inc, Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc, Twitter Inc, and Pinterest Inc announced on Tuesday that they will not send teams to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas due to growing concerns about Omicron.
In the past, CES, which serves as an annual showcase of new trends and gadgets in the technology industry, has drawn over 180,000 people from all over the world to a sprawling array of casinos and convention spaces.
Amazon jobs and its smart-home unit Ring said they would not be onsite at next month’s event due to the “quickly shifting situation and uncertainty around the Omicron variant” of coronavirus, the firm’s spokesperson told Reuters in an email.
Bloomberg News was the first to report that Amazon and Ring had decided against attending the show in person. T-Mobile, a U.S. wireless carrier and conference sponsor, also announced that the vast majority of its contingent would not be attending and that its CEO would not deliver a keynote speech.
“We are prioritizing the safety of our team and other attendees with this decision,” T-Mobile said while expressing confidence that CES organizers were taking exhaustive protective measures.
The other companies had no plans for large-scale in-person meetings. The Consumer Technology Association, which organizes CES, announced on Tuesday that the event will take place from January 5 to January 8. It went on to say that health precautions would include vaccination requirements, masking, and the availability of COVID-19 tests.
Twitter had planned to send some employees to participate in panel discussions. Twitter and Facebook, on the other hand, have both stated that they are now looking into online opportunities.
Before canceling, Pinterest had planned a smaller meeting space for its sales and partner teams than in previous years. However, many companies, including Qualcomm Inc, Sony Electronics,CG Artwork and Alphabet Inc’s Google and self-driving vehicle unit Waymo, have stated that they will continue to attend and demonstrate new hardware or host meetings.
On Tuesday, General Motors Co said Chief Executive Mary Barra will still present the electric Silverado pickup truck and discuss company strategy in person at the conference on January 5.
Other companies, such as chipmaker Nvidia Corp, which is having two executives deliver a keynote address via video, had long planned for virtual presences.
Source: US News