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Amazon is among the key tech firms to come down with CES plans on Covid-19 concern

A number of tech firms have come down with plans on Covid-19 for CES

December 23, 2021: Amazon, Facebook parent Meta, Twitter, and Pinterest will not send teams to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas as concerns grow about Omicron, the firms said on Tuesday. CES, serving as an annual showcase of new trends and gadgets in the technology industry, has attracted over 180,000 people from around the world to a sprawling array of casinos and convention spaces in the past.

Amazon and its smart-home unit Ring said they would not be onsite at next month’s event because of the “quickly shifting situation and uncertainty around the Omicron variant” of coronavirus, the firm’s spokesperson told Reuters.

Bloomberg News first reported that Amazon and Ring had decided against in-person presence at the show.

U.S. wireless carrier and conference sponsor T-Mobile said the vast majority of its contingent would no longer be going. 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 they expressed confidence that CES organizers were taking specific protective measures.

The other companies are not planned large in-person gatherings.

The Consumer Technology Association, running CES, said that the show would run from January 5 to January 8. Health precautions would include vaccination requirements, masking, and the availability of COVID-19 tests, it added.

Twitter had planned to have employees attend to participate in panels. However, Twitter and Facebook have said they are now exploring online opportunities.

Pinterest, before canceling, is planning a scaled-down meeting area for its sales and partner teams compared to years past.

But many companies, like Qualcomm, Sony Electronics and Alphabet’s Google, and self-driving vehicle unit Waymo have said that they are sticking with plans to attend and show off the hardware or host meetings.

On Tuesday, General Motors said Chief Executive Mary Barra is still set to introduce the U.S. automaker’s electric Silverado pickup truck and discuss company strategy in person at the conference on January 5.

Many companies planned for virtual presences, among them chipmaker Nvidia, which is having two executives deliver a keynote address by video.

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