Amazon, Facebook parent Meta Platforms, Twitter, Google, Microsoft, Pinterest and other tech giants will not send teams to this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas due to growing concerns about Omicron variant of Covid-19.
The other tech giant who have pulled out of in-person attendance of the show for same reasons include US car maker General Motors, Google’s self-driving auto-technology company Waymo, Lenovo Group, AT&T, T-Mobile and Amazon’s smart home unit, Ring.
CES, scheduled for January 2022, serves as an annual showcase of new trends and gadgets in the technology industry, and has attracted more than 180,000 people from around the world to a sprawling array of casinos and convention spaces full of innovative technology and devices in the past.
It has always been attended by all the tech giants in the world, but this year, Amazon and its smart-home unit, Ring said they would not be on site at next month’s event due to the “quickly shifting situation and uncertainty around the Omicron variant” of coronavirus.
US wireless carrier and conference sponsor T-Mobile also said the vast majority of its contingent would no longer be going and its chief executive 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.
Microsoft also said it will not participate in person in Las Vegas, joining a list of companies opting not to have a physical presence at next month’s event on concerns over the rapid spread of the Omicron Covid-19 variant.
The US software giant said in a statement, it will continue to participate at CES remotely.
The other companies had not planned large in-person gatherings.
The Consumer Technology Association, which runs CES, said on Tuesday that the show would run from 5-8 January. Health precautions would include vaccination requirements, masking and the availability of Covid-19 tests, it added.
Twitter had planned to have some employees attend, to participate on panels. However, both Twitter and Facebook have said they are now exploring online opportunities.
Pinterest, before cancelling, had planned a scaled-down meeting area for its sales and partner teams, compared to years past.
But many companies, such as Qualcomm, Sony and Google have said they are sticking with plans to attend and show off new hardware or host meetings.
Other companies had long ago planned for virtual presences, among them chipmaker Nvidia, which is having two executives deliver a keynote address by video.