Omicron: Meta, Amazon, Google … The list of absentees at the Las Vegas tech show is growing


After Meta (Facebook), Amazon or Twitter, Google and Lenovo in turn announced the cancellation of their participation in the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas due to the spread of the Omicron variant.

Google, Lenovo and other big names in technology have in turn announced that they are canceling their attendance at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, adding to the list of absentees frightened by the outbreak of the Omicron variant. . The Silicon Valley giant and the Chinese computer maker had to resolve to avoid exposing their employees and visitors to their stands to possible coronavirus contamination.

« After careful consideration, we have decided to refrain from any presence among the exhibitors at CES 2022, » said a Google spokesperson. « We have closely monitored the evolution of the Omicron variant and have decided that it is the best choice for the health and safety of our teams, » he explained.

Lenovo for its part announced on Twitter that it was « suspending all activity » on the site of the Las Vegas show, while the American microprocessor manufacturer Intel has let it be known that it will be content to make its presentations virtually at CES . Intel said that after consultation with health authorities, it would offer a presence « primarily digital and live, with on-site staff reduced to a minimum » in order to limit the risks.

Free screening

The most well-known annual consumer electronics show is currently being held from January 5 to 8. It must always be preceded by two days reserved for the media. But on Tuesday, companies such as Facebook’s parent company Meta, as well as Amazon, T-Mobile and Twitter, had already pulled out of the event. The main specialized media, in particular CNET, The Verge and TechCrunch have also decided not to send reporters, raising doubts on the effective holding of the show in the face of the meteoric spread of the new variant in the United States.

Last week, organizers announced the presence of more than 2,100 exhibitors, who will be offered rapid and free screening tests. On the CES website, they recall the conditions for participating in the show: « You MUST be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to collect a badge and access CES in person in Las Vegas ».

Another major conference, the World Economic Forum, which was to meet from January 17 to 21 in Davos, Switzerland, has been « postponed » because of the Omicron variant, organizers announced on Monday. The meeting – which brings together business, politics and diplomacy – is now to be held « early in the summer, » they said. In January 2021, CES and WEF were held in completely virtual mode.

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