CES 2022: Amid COVID surge, AMD and OnePlus drop out, becoming a member of Microsoft, Google, Intel

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With COVID instances surging, firms are backing out of attending CES in individual.

Sarah Tew/CNET

This story is part of CES, where CNET covers the latest news on the most incredible tech coming soon.

CES 2022 is changing into more and more digital as main exhibitors have introduced plans to pivot to a virtual-only presence as an alternative of attending the Las Vegas commerce present. AMD and OnePlus each stated Tuesday that they plan to go digital solely, becoming a member of a prolonged record that features T-Mobile, Microsoft, Google, Intel and extra, following a spike in coronavirus infections and the omicron variant. The present remains to be set to kick off Jan. 5 in Las Vegas in addition to just about.

“After careful deliberation, AMD has decided to cancel our in-person presence at CES 2022 in Las Vegas and will instead transition to a virtual experience. While the AMD 2022 Product Premiere was always planned as a digital-only livestream, our in-person engagements will now transition to virtual in the best interest of the health and safety of our employees, partners and communities,” AMD stated in a press release. The firm nonetheless plans to carry its scheduled bulletins on Jan. Four as a part of these digital-only plans.

While cellphone maker OnePlus did not have an official presence in Las Vegas deliberate, the corporate is scrapping its in-person plans, CNET has confirmed. The information was earlier reported by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. OnePlus is rumored to be debuting the OnePlus 10 Pro cellphone on the present, and CEO Pete Lau teased last week on the Weibo social community that the cellphone’s reveal will likely be coming in January.

Microsoft confirmed its personal change of plans on Friday, citing well being issues.

“The health and well-being of our employees is our ultimate priority. After reviewing the latest data on the rapidly evolving COVID environment, Microsoft has decided not to participate in-person at CES 2022,” the corporate stated in a press release emailed late Friday. Microsoft stated it would be a part of the present just about.

Despite the lengthening record of departing exhibitors, the Consumer Technology Association, which runs CES, stated Thursday that extra exhibitors have signed up for bodily area on the present flooring. “While we recently received 42 exhibitor cancellations (less than 7% of our exhibit floor),” the CTA stated, “since last Friday we’ve added 60 new exhibitors for our in-person event.” 

Though higher-profile firms are asserting withdrawals, the CTA emphasised that the present flooring additionally performs host to small and medium-size firms. 

The speedy unfold of the omicron variant and rise in COVID-19 instances are making many individuals uneasy. On Dec. 20, the US surpassed 291,000 new every day instances — the best quantity for the reason that pandemic peak on Jan. 8, 2021, when the US crossed 294,000 new every day instances, according to the CDC.

The CTA stated that it believes the occasion can go on because of vaccination and masking necessities, the provision of COVID checks for attendees, social distancing measures and decrease attendance. 

The wave of exits appeared to begin final week when T-Mobile stated that CEO Mike Sievert was now not scheduled to ship a keynote presentation both in individual or just about and that the corporate deliberate to “significantly limit” its bodily presence on the present. 

Here is the rising record of firms which have modified their minds about attending CES:

  • T-Mobile: The “vast majority” of its crew will not head to Vegas, although the corporate will stay a sponsor. “We are prioritizing the safety of our team and other attendees with this decision,” the service stated in a press release. “T-Mobile’s entire team looks forward to an in-person CES 2023, which we hope includes an onstage keynote in front of a live audience.”  
  • Microsoft: “The health and well-being of our employees is our ultimate priority. After reviewing the latest data on the rapidly evolving COVID environment, Microsoft has decided not to participate in-person at CES 2022,” the corporate stated in a press release Friday.
  • Google and Waymo: “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,” a Google spokesperson stated Thursday. Alphabet-owned Waymo, which focuses on self-driving automobiles, made a similar statement.
  • GM: The firm won’t ship workers or executives to the present, Reuters reported Thursday. CEO Mary Barra will ship her keynote speech on-line.  
  • Meta: “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 stated Tuesday.
  • Twitter: “The safety and health of our people and our partners are our No. 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 stated Tuesday.
  • TikTok: “In light of the increase in positive COVID-19 cases across the country, TikTok has decided to host a virtual TikTok CES experience for our brands and partners,” the corporate stated Wednesday.
  • AT&T: “The health and safety of our employees and customers is a top priority, so we have decided to forgo in-person participation at CES 2022,” a spokesperson stated Wednesday.
  • Lenovo: The firm introduced its plans Thursday.
  • Intel: The chipmaker stated Thursday that it’ll scale down its presence. “After consulting with health officials and in the spirit of Intel’s safety policy, our plans for CES will move to a digital-first, live experience, with minimal on-site staff,” Intel stated.
  • Amazon and Ring: “Due to the quickly shifting situation and uncertainty around the omicron variant, we will no longer have an on-site presence at CES,” Amazon stated. A spokesperson for Ring, Amazon’s house safety subsidiary, issued an equivalent assertion.
  • Pinterest
  • Nvidia: The firm has been “cautious from the start” and is about to ship a digital handle on Jan. Four at Eight a.m. PT, a spokesperson stated.
  • AMD: The firm is transferring all of its in-person plans to digital, and can nonetheless maintain its press bulletins Jan. 4.
  • OnePlus

The choices observe the US reaching the grim milestone of 800,000 COVID-19 deaths earlier this month, in keeping with the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center

Several firms will nonetheless host press conferences the day earlier than the present begins, together with some that now not plan to have a bodily presence on the tech present. CNET will livestream these on our main YouTube page and on our CNET Highlights YouTube page as a part of our CES 2022 protection. The present schedule for press day follows.

CES 2022 press day, Jan. 4 (all instances are Pacific)

7 a.m.: AMD and TCL

Eight a.m. LG Electronics and Nvidia

9 a.m.: Hisense

10 a.m.: Intel

11 a.m.: Qualcomm

12 p.m.: John Deere

1 p.m.: Canon

2 p.m.: Ottonomy

three p.m.: Hyundai

5 p.m.: Sony

6:30 p.m.: Samsung

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