Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Google withdraws its in-person CES 2022 attendance amid Omicron threat



The search giant is exploring ways to hold virtual exhibits.

What you need to know

  • Google is pulling out of CES 2022 due to health concerns over the Omicron variant.
  • The search giant is the latest tech company to withdraw its in-person attendance.
  • Google says it’s collaborating with the event’s organizers to resort to a virtual presence.

Google has joined a growing list of tech companies that have dropped out of CES 2022 over health concerns posed by the Omicron variant of COVID-19, instead opting for a virtual setup for the event.

In a statement to Android Central, Google confirmed that it will no longer be physically present at the annual trade show, which is set to take place in Las Vegas from January 5 to 8, next year. Google said:

After careful consideration we have decided to withhold from having a presence on the show floor of CES 2022. We’ve been closely monitoring the development of the Omicron variant, and have decided that this is the best choice for the health and safety of our teams. We will continue to collaborate closely with both CTA and our partners to identify and support virtual opportunities, and we look forward to sharing the latest Google innovations with you all.

Google is the latest tech giant to cancel its in-person CES 2022 attendance. More recently, Lenovo and Waymo announced that they’re pulling out of the event due to the rising cases of the Omicron variant.

These cancellations follow a similar move by Amazon, T-Mobile, Meta, Twitter, and a few other tech companies. So, Google’s withdrawal is neither surprising nor unprecedented.

That said, the event’s organizer, CTA, isn’t planning to cancel the trade show next month. The organization assures attendees and exhibitors that CES 2022 will be a safe event given its extensive health measures, including “vaccination requirement, masking, and availability of COVID-19 tests.”

However, with Google’s withdrawal from the event, next year’s CES will be missing a key exhibitor. More importantly, the recent cancellations may have dampened expectations that one of the world’s largest tech shows will return to in-person attendance in 2022, after this year’s CES only allowed virtual exhibits.

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