Amazon, Tech Firms Drop CES Plans Over COVID Concerns

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Amazon Inc, Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc, Twitter Inc and Pinterest Inc will not physically attend the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas due to growing concerns about the spread of the Omicron COVID variant.

CES, a prominent tech event highlighting the latest trends and gadgets in tech, has attracted more than 180,000 people worldwide to a dazzling array of casinos and convention rooms in recent years.

Amazon and its smart home unit Ring have announced that they will not be physically attending the event as concerns and uncertainty surrounding the Omicron variant” of the coronavirus increase.

Other tech giants had not planned large in-person gatherings.

The Consumer Technology Association, which is leading the CES, is preparing for the event from January 5-8. Safety precautions include vaccination requirements, the wearing of masks and the availability of COVID-19 tests on site.

Twitter originally planned to have some key employees take part in panels, but both Twitter and Facebook have announced that they are now exploring online options.

Still, many tech companies, including Qualcomm Inc, Sony Electronics, Alphabet Inc’s Google and self-driving car company Waymo, are in full swing with plans to attend the meetings, showcase new hardware and host meetings.

General Motors CEO Mary Barra plans to personally present the U.S. automaker’s Silverado electric pickup truck on Tuesday and discuss the company’s strategy in front of a live audience on January 5.

Other companies, such as Nvidia Corp, had long planned for virtual participation, having two executives give a keynote speech on video.

For more information, read the original story in Reuters. 

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