Google I/O to Facebook F8: A look at all tech conferences cancelled due to coronavirus
The coronavirus outbreak has led to cancellations of major tech conferences globally. While some have cancelled it completely, others have opted for online conferences.
On December 31, 2019, a type of pneumonia, previously unknown was detected in China's Wuhan city. As of March 4, there have been over 90,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus with 3,204 people dying from it globally. India too has recorded 28 confirmed cases till now.
The widespread pandemic has affected the world of technology as well. Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon and Google have lost more than $ 238 billion, according to a CNBC report. Apple even cut its sales expectations for the quarter, citing the virus's impact on its factories and stores.
Not only sales, but a number of tech events have also been cancelled or shifted its date due to the widespread fear of the virus that has been called COVID-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The WHO declared the outbreak of novel coronavirus as Public Health Emergency of International Concern on January 30.
Xiaomi, Realme launch
The Chinese smartphone makers cancelled their product launch events in India due to COVID-19 concerns. Xiaomi was set to launch a new Redmi Note series on March, while Realme was set to showcase Realme 6 and 6 Pro series on March 5. Both events are now 'digital-only.'
The global VP of Xiaomi and MD Xiaomi India Manu Jain took to Twitter to share the news. "Due to recent reports of COVID-19 #CoronaOutbreak in certain parts of the country, we've decided to not host product launch events on-ground in March," he tweeted.
📢#Note the update: Due to recent reports of COVID-19 #CoronaOutbreak in certain parts of the country, we've decided to not host product launch events on-ground in March.— Manu Kumar Jain (@manukumarjain) March 3, 2020
This is keeping in mind safety of fans, media friends, employees & partners. I urge you all to stay safe. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/SOdDZtSkmo
Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2020
The GSM Association (GSMA) cancelled the world's biggest phone show following concerns over coronavirus. The cancellation came after a number of exhibitors and companies pulled out of MWC. The event was scheduled to take place in Barcelona between February 24 and 27.
Game Developers Conference (GDC)
The largest annual conference for game developers from around the world which was scheduled for March was postponed due to fears over the novel coronavirus. The organisers decided to pull the plug on the event and reschedule it after Facebook, Sony, Microsoft, and Electronic Arts decided to skip it.
Google I/O 2020
Google cancelled its biggest annual event. The I/O developers conference, which was scheduled to be held in Mountain View, Calif, from May 12-14 has been held each year, since 2008.
The company took to the event's site and posted a message. "Due to concerns around the coronavirus (COVID-19), and in accordance with health guidance from the CDC, WHO, and other health authorities, we have decided to cancel the physical Google I/O event at Shoreline Amphitheatre."
Facebook too cancelled its F8 developer conference. The US-based company said it "made the difficult decision to cancel the in-person component of F8 in order to prioritize the health and safety of developer partners, employees" and everyone else.
Instead of the F8 event, Facebook is now planning to host local events, videos and live-streamed content.
Google's Cloud Next 2020
Google announced on March 3 that it is cancelling the physical part of its cloud-focused event called Cloud Next. The event was scheduled to be held between April 6 and 8, but now will see the hosting of an online event 'Google Cloud Next '20: Digital Connect.'
Amazon Web Services
Amazon's Cloud arm Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced it has cancelled its flagship event in India due to concerns over the novel coronavirus.
AWS was scheduled to organise an event in Mumbai from April 7-9. As per a report in news agency IANS, an AWS spokesperson said, "Due to the continued concerns about COVID-19, Amazon Web Services has cancelled the AWS Mumbai Summit."
Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Summit
Microsoft cancelled MVP Summit weeks ahead of its opening. The company has announced that it will run the event as a virtual-only conference during the same time slot.
The Microsoft MVP Global Summit 2020 was slated to be held between March 15 and 20 in Bellevue and Redmond, Washington. The company has, however, not said if it intends to cancel its annual Build developers conference as well, which was slated to happen between May 19 and 21.
South by Southwest (SXSW) 2020
Participants such as Twitter, Facebook and Amazon pulled out of the South by Southwest this year following fears of coronavirus. However, organizers say the mega-festival will take place as per the announced schedule.
Oracle OpenWorld Asia
Set for April 2020, Oracle has postponed OpenWorld Asia due to concerns of coronavirus in Singapore and the ASEAN region. The two-day event was slated to feature CEO Safra Catz as a headline speaker. It has not been specified if and when the event will be rescheduled.
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