(Washington) Google, Lenovo and other big tech names announced Thursday that they have canceled their attendance at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, adding to the list of absentees frightened by the Omicron variant outbreak.
The Silicon Valley giant and the Chinese computer maker had to make a decision to avoid exposing their employees and visitors to potential contamination with the coronavirus.
“After careful consideration, we have decided to refrain from any attendance among exhibitors at CES 2022,” a Google spokesperson said.
“We have closely monitored the evolution of the Omicron variant and have determined that it is the best option for the health and safety of our teams,” he explained.
Lenovo, for its part, announced on Twitter that it is “suspending all of its activity” on the Las Vegas demo site, while the American microprocessor manufacturer Intel announced that it will be satisfied with its presentations by default at CES.
Intel told AFP that after consulting with health authorities, it would provide a “primarily digital and live presence, while minimizing on-site staffing” in order to reduce risk.
The most popular annual consumer electronics show is currently taking place from January 5-8. It must always be preceded by two days reserved for the media.
But on Tuesday, companies like Facebook’s parent company Meta, as well as Amazon, T-Mobile and Twitter, have already pulled out of the event. Major niche media, including CNET, The Verge and TechCrunch, also decided not to send in reporters, raising doubts about the show’s actual holding in the face of the meteoric spread of the new variant in the United States.
Last week, the organizers announced that there are more than 2,100 exhibitors, who will be offered quick and free screening tests.
On the CES website, they remember the conditions for participating in the show: “You must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to receive a badge and access CES in person in Las Vegas.”
Organizers announced Monday that another major conference, the World Economic Forum, which was due to meet January 17-21 in Davos, Switzerland, has been “postponed” due to the Omicron variant.
They specified that the meeting – which brings together the worlds of business, politics and diplomacy – should now take place “at the beginning of summer”.
In January 2021, CES and WEF were held in completely virtual mode.
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