More tech companies pull out of CES 2022 amid Omicron concerns

CES convention center sign
CES convention center sign (Image credit: Android Central)

Update, Dec 23 (2:25 p.m. ET): CES 2022 has had more than 42 cancelations.

What you need to know

  • Amazon, T-Mobile, Meta, Twitter, and a few other tech companies have decided to pull out of CES 2022 over the rise in COVID cases.
  • Most of the companies that have dropped out will now participate in the event virtually.
  • CES 2022 is set to kick off on Wednesday, January 5.

A number of tech giants have announced that they will no longer attend CES 2022 in person due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases and uncertainty around the Omicron variant. The list of companies that have dropped out of CES includes Amazon, Facebook parent Meta, T-Mobile, and Twitter.

In a statement sent to Bloomberg, Amazon said that it has decided not to have an on-site presence at CES "due to the quickly shifting situation and uncertainty around the Omicron variant." Amazon's smart home brand Ring, which makes some of the best security cameras, has also decided to skip CES 2022 over the same concerns.

T-Mobile will "significantly limit" its in-person participation at the Consumer Electronics Show. The company said in a statement:

While we are confident that CES organizers are taking exhaustive measures to protect in-person attendees and we had many preventative practices in place as well, we are prioritizing the safety of our team and other attendees with this decision.

Facebook parent Meta won't be attending the event in person to care for its employees. However, it still plans to be part of CES virtually. Twitter is also reportedly exploring online opportunities to ensure the safety and health of its employees.

Some of the other big names that won't be attending CES 2022 in person include Pinterest and iHeartRadio. More names are likely to be added to the list in the coming days.

While Sony, Qualcomm, OnePlus, and Google currently plan to attend the event, Samsung is said to be "closely monitoring the current health situation." Samsung is expected to unveil the Galaxy S21 FE at its pre-CES keynote event on January 4.

Update, Dec 23 (2:25 p.m. ET) ― CES still on as cancellations rise

As expected, more companies have decided to pull out of CES 2022. Lenovo, who normally announces many products at CES, has decided to withdraw its physical presence at the show, although it still plans to retain its scheduled announcements.

Google's self-driving division, Waymo, has also announced on Thursday that it's pulling out of the show where it planned to show off a "full range of vehicles." It will also attend virtually in "some CES-related events."

The Verge reports that Hisense has dropped plans for an in-person press conference, Intel is planning a "digital-first, live experience, with minimal on-site staff," and AT&T has also decided not to attend.

Yet, despite the big-name cancellations, CES organizers plan to continue on as planned. According to a blog post, 42 companies pulled out as of Wednesday (although it's likely more by now), but CES organizers highlight that they've "added 60 new exhibitors for our in person event."

Given CES' comprehensive health measures -- vaccination requirement, masking and availability of COVID-19 tests -- coupled with lower attendance and social distancing measures, we are confident that attendees and exhibitors can have a socially distanced but worthwhile and productive event in Las Vegas, as well as a rewarding experience on our digital access.

With less than two weeks until the show, things aren't looking too good for CES. With this massive techsodus, organizers may want to consider canceling the event or making it fully virtual.

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Babu Mohan
News Writer