T-Mobile, Twitter, Meta scrap CES 2022 plans in Vegas due to COVID-19

With COVID cases surging, companies are dropping out of attending the event in person.

Sarah Tew/CNET

For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites.

T-Mobile is dropping out of CES 2022 because of COVID-19 concerns, the company said Tuesday, with CEO Mike Sievert no longer scheduled to deliver a keynote presentation either in person or virtually. Meta and Twitter came to the same decision, it was announced Tuesday. CES is set to take place during the first week of January, in Las Vegas.

T-Mobile said it’ll “significantly limit” its number of attendees at CES, and will remain as a sponsor.

“We are prioritizing the safety of our team and other attendees with this decision,” the carrier said in a statement. “T-Mobile’s entire team looks forward to an in-person CES 2023, which we hope includes an on-stage keynote in front of a live audience.”

Amazon, Twitter, Meta and Pinterest have also dropped out of attending CES in person, while Nvidia said it has been “cautious from the start.” 

“[Nvidia] is scheduled to deliver its CES virtual special address on Jan. 4 at 8am pacific time,” a spokesperson told CNET in an emailed statement.

“Out of an abundance of caution and care for our employees, we won’t be attending CES in-person due to the evolving public health concerns related to COVID-19,” Meta said, though it will still participate in the event virtually.

“At Twitter, we hold the safety and health of our people and our partners as our #1 priority. With that in mind, due to the spike in COVID cases across the country in the past week, we’ve decided to cancel our in-person presence at CES next month,” Twitter added.

Citing the health and safety of its employees, an Amazon spokesperson said in an emailed statement that “due to the quickly shifting situation and uncertainty around the Omicron variant, we will no longer have an on-site presence at CES.”

The decisions follow the US reaching the grim milestone last week of 800,000 COVID-19 deaths, according to numbers from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. With the emergence of the highly infectious omicron variant — which is now the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the US — cases are rapidly on the rise again. 

The Consumer Technology Association said it feels that with vaccination and masking requirements, availability of COVID-19 tests and lower attendance and social distancing measures, the event can go on.

CES will take place virtually and in person Jan. 5-8, 2022.

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