The world’s greatest technology expo, was set to return to its in-person avatar in 2022 after going completely digital last year. However, the growing COVID-19 cases across the world has put the whole event in jeopardy. Alphabet’s Google has now decided to pull out of the event, following the footsteps of a number of other companies including Amazon and Meta.
“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,” a Google spokesperson said.
The Consumer Technology Association (CTA), organisers of the CES expo announced that it still plans to host an in-person show earlier this week. The organisers however, also revealed that it had received 42 exhibitor cancellations a day later, but that it had added 60 new exhibitors as well.
While some names like T-Mobile decided to limit in-person participation, Amazon decided to not participate entirely. Chipmaker Intel announced on Thursday that the company’s CES plans will “move to a digital-first, live experience, with minimal on-site staff.” Other brands like General Motors also followed suit and took the digital route.
Companies like Sony, AMD and Samsung are still planning to participate at CES 2022, albeit with a limited presence. OnePlus, expected to flaunt the new OnePlus 10, is still expected to show up at the event and so is HTC and chipmaker Qualcomm.
However, with the cases not coming down and the threat of the expo turning into a super-spreader event looming, more brands could be seen pulling out of the event in the days to come.