Lenovo became the last company to announce that it will not have a physical presence at CES 2022. On Wednesday night, the manufacturer of consumer and business electronics he said would not have on-site staff at the event to protect the health of its employees and customers.
“After closely monitoring current trends around COVID, it is in the best interest of the health and safety of our employees, customers, partners and our communities to suspend all on-site activities in Las Vegas,” the company said. they tweeted. “While this is a change in plans, we are excited to see our latest technology launch as scheduled on January 4th and 5th.”
Lenovo is following Amazon, Meta, Twitter and sponsor T-Mobile as it withdraws from the show. All four said they would not attend in person due to concerns about the new COVID-19 omicron variant. And while they are all important names in technology, they are not hardware players in the same way that Lenovo is, nor have they had such a large physical presence at the fair throughout history as in previous years.
For now, the Consumer Technology Association, an organization that brings together CES every year, still plans to continue with this event. Given CES’s comprehensive health measures – vaccination requirements, masking and availability of COVID-19 tests – together with lower attendance and social distancing measures, we are convinced that participants and exhibitors can have a socially distant but valuable and productive event in Las Vegas, as well as a rewarding experience on our digital approach, “the organization said TechCrunch.
There is still a lot that scientists do not know about omicron, but early data suggest that it is a highly transmissible strain of coronavirus. Federal health officials said Monday that the variant accounted for 73 percent of all new cases nationwide in the week ending Dec. 18. That accounted for 12.6 percent of all COVID-19 cases in the U.S. just seven days earlier. In some parts of the country, including parts of the states of New York and the Northwest Pacific, the share of this variant was even higher. The researchers also found that most non-mRNA vaccines, including Sinovac and Sinophram, offer little protection against strains. It is understandable why many companies want to play it safe, and it is fair to say that Lenovo will probably not be the last to withdraw from CES 2022.
Update at 12:31 ET: Alphabet’s autonomous car unit Waymo announced today that it will also not have a physical presence at CES 2022. The company says it will continue to virtually participate in some CES-related events, but will not have a booth at the event.
Update 14:05 ET: Intel has also decided to withdraw from CES 2022. The company said TechCrunch it moves to minimize its physical presence at the event. “After consulting with health officials and in the spirit of Intel’s security policy, our plans for CES will shift to the first digital live experience, with a minimum number of staff on site,” the company said.
Update at 16:20 ET: You can now add General Motors to the list above. The carmaker planned to debut its electric Silverado pickup at the event. Instead, they will now do so through an online presentation, per Automotive News.
Update 17:24 ET: Google became the last company to cancel its personal plans for the event. “After careful consideration, we have decided not to be present at CES 2022,” the company said. “We have closely followed the development of the omicron variant and decided that this is the best choice for the health and safety of our teams.”
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