- The coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19, is forcing tech companies to adapt as remote work and suspended travel become realities.
- Some of the biggest tech conferences of the year are being canceled as well, as companies heed the CDC’s advice to “modify, postpone or cancel mass gatherings.”
- Facebook’s F8 conference, Google I/O, and IBM’s Think are just some of the events that have been called off.
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The coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19, is spreading and so are concerns over the virus.
More than 100,000 people have been infected with the virus worldwide and 3,400 have died, with most cases coming in China, where it originated. There are 148 confirmed cases of the virus in the US, with 10 having died.
The virus is affecting the day-to-day routine of US businesses as the outbreak continues to take hold throughout the country.
The CDC issued new guidelines in late February advising businesses to rely more heavily on remote work options, a feat that Google, Twitter, and most recently Apple, as Business Insider’s Rob Price and Rosalie Chan reported, and others are following. Twitter, Amazon, and Salesforce, among others, have prohibited non-essential domestic and international employee travel.
The guidelines also call for US companies and cities to “modify, postpone or cancel mass gatherings.” May was set to be a big month for tech conferences, with many taking place in San Francisco, where two cases of COVID-19 have now been confirmed. IBM’s Think, Facebook’s F8, and Google I/O were all slated for May. Some are being flat-out canceled, others are being transitioned into virtual events, with live-streamed content and the like.
A Recode report places the economic loss of the events canceled in 2020 so far over coronavirus concerns at $1 billion, a number that may continue rising.
Here are the most high-profile tech events of the year that have been canceled.