More tech companies have cancelled in-person appearances at next month’s CES technology industry trade show, amid concerns about the spread of Covid-19.
The latest to withdraw are chip maker AMD and PC manufacturer MSI.
Amazon, Facebook, Google, Intel and Microsoft have already said they will not attend in-person.
Organisers had hoped January’s event – one of the industry’s most important showcases of new consumer gadgets – could return to close to normal
In January 2021 the Las Vegas show was held as a virtual event, after the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), which runs it, said it was “not possible to safely convene tens of thousands of people”.
The in-person conference is to return this January with health precautions, including proof of vaccination, mask-wearing, and on-site Covid testing.
But the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid in the US has prompted many firms to rethink the value of sending representatives physically to the show.
Smartphone brand OnePlus has also cancelled an in-person event in Las Vegas that was set to coincide with CES, according to reports.
While AMD and OnePlus did not specify their reasons for changing plans, MSI did, noting the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.
“The health and well-being of our employees, customers and fans are our top priority,” a spokesman said in a statement.
“Hence, we have decided not to participate in person at CES 2022 and will join the show virtually with our online product launch.”
AMD has also announced that it will attend virtually.
‘Show goes on’
Just before Christmas, Amazon, Facebook and Twitter announced they would not have a physical presence at the tech show.
Since then, Google, Microsoft and Intel, among others, have made similar moves.
The consumer electronics show, which hosts thousands of exhibitors, large and small, is still due to go ahead between 5 and 8 January.
“CES will and must go on,” Gary Shapiro, president and chief executive of the CTA, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.