Lenovo, Intel on Growing List of Companies Not Attending CES 2022

Lenovo is the latest company to announce that it will not have a physical presence at CES 2022. On Wednesday evening, the consumer and business electronics manufacturer said it would not have on-site staff at the event to protect the health of its employees and customers.

“After closely monitoring current trends surrounding 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. . said on Twitter. “While this is a change of plans, we are excited that you will all be launching our latest technology as scheduled on January 4 and 5.”

Lenovo follows Amazon, Meta, Twitter and show sponsor T-Mobile in its withdrawal from the exchange. All four said they would not attend in person due to concerns related to the novel COVID-19 omicron variant. And while they’re all major names in technology, they’re not a hardware player like Lenovo is, nor have they historically been as physically present on the show as they have been in years past.

For now, the Consumer Technology Association, the organization that organizes CES every year, still plans to continue with the event. “Given the expanded health measures of CES – vaccination requirement, masking and availability of COVID-19 tests – coupled with lower attendance and social distancing measures, we are confident that visitors and exhibitors will have a socially distancing but valuable and productive event in Las Vegas as well as a rewarding experience on our digital access,” the organization told TechCrunch.

There’s still a lot scientists don’t know about omicron, but early data suggests it’s a highly transmissible strain of the coronavirus. Federal health officials said Monday the variant accounted for 73 percent of all new cases nationwide in the week ending Dec. 18. It made up 12.6 percent of all COVID-19 cases in the US just seven days earlier. In some parts of the country, including parts of New York and the Pacific Northwest, the proportion of the variant was even greater. Scientists have also found that most non-mRNA vaccines, including Sinovac and Sinophram, offer little protection against the strain. It’s understandable, then, why many companies want to play it safe, and it’s fair to say that Lenovo probably won’t be the last to pull out of CES 2022.

Update 12:31 PM ET: Waymo, the autonomous car unit of Alphabet, announced today that it will also not be physically present at CES 2022. The company says it will still participate virtually in some CES-related events, but the will not have a stand on the event.

Update 2:05 PM ET: Intel has also decided to withdraw from CES 2022. The company told TechCrunch it is moving to minimize its physical presence at the event. “After consultation with health officials and in the spirit of Intel’s security policy, our plans for CES will move to a digital-first, live experience, with minimal on-site staffing,” the company said.

Update 4:20 PM ET: You can now add General Motors to the list above. The automaker planned to debut its Silverado electric pickup at the event. Instead, it will now do so through an online presentation, per Automotive News.

Update 5:24 PM ET: Google is the last company to cancel its personal plans for the event. “After careful consideration, we have decided not to attend the CES 2022 show floor,” the company said. “We have been closely monitoring the development of the Omicron variant and have decided it is the best choice for the health and safety of our teams.”

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