Over the last few months, the media has been littered with news of a new respiratory virus, coronavirus (COVID-19) that causes pneumonia. The virus, discovered in December in China, has since infected over 90,000 people across 73 countries.
To date, there has been over 3,000 cases of deaths and only about 172 of these deaths have been reported outside mainland China. As it continues to spread, the World Health Organization (WHO) has upgrade the global risk of the virus to “very high”.
Beyond the health impacts, the emergence of this virus has also had a negative impact on the global economy across the world.
The coronavirus has also wreaked havoc on the tech industry as companies directly linked to China have been reporting reduced revenues for Q1 2020. Cryptocurrency prices have also been falling and of recent, there’s been a growing list of several tech events being called off by organisers.
From Facebook’s F8 to Google’s Cloud Next, here are major tech events that have been called off over growing safety concerns around coronavirus.
GSMA Mobile World Congress
The world’s biggest congregation of the tech industry, Mobile World Congress was cancelled over concerns surrounding the coronavirus epidemic.
Its organisers, the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA), announced that the tech exhibit had to be called off. This was mainly because major tech companies had pulled out of the congress, citing the health risk of the outbreak as a reason.
The event which was slated to hold between February 24 to 27 in Barcelona, Spain, brings together over 100,000 attendees from across the globe. Thus the concerns raised are very understandable.
Facebook F8 Developer Conference
Facebook’s annual F8 conference has also been cancelled. The conference is for developers and entrepreneurs who build products and services around the website. It was scheduled to hold between May 5 and 6 and was expected to bring together thousands of people.
However, it has now been cancelled due to growing concerns over the coronavirus.
“Given the growing concerns around COVID-19, we’ve made the difficult decision to cancel the in-person component of F8 2020,” says Facebook.
2020 Game Developers Conference
The 2020 Game Developers Conference has also been postponed till further notice. The conference which brings together several game developers from all over the world was scheduled to hold in March.
And while the organisers did not say specifically if the cancellation was in connection with the coronavirus outbreak, it could be easily deduced. For one, many of the events sponsors, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, have announced that they will not be sending any employee to the event due to the coronavirus outbreak.
This must have been a setback to the event, hence the decision to call it off now and reschedule for later in the summer.
Google’s Cloud Next
The physical part of Google’s largest tech event, Cloud Next, which brings together over 30,000 enterprise attendees has also been cancelled over concerns around coronavirus.
Cloud Next was scheduled to hold between April 6 and 8. However, due to the coronavirus, Google has abandoned the physical event. It will instead host an online event tagged “Google Cloud Next ’20: Digital Connect”. Since it’s now a virtual event, it will be free for ‘attendees’ as the tech giant will refund all tickets to the event.
Microsoft’s MVP Summit
Microsoft’s MVP Summit has also been cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Just like Google’s Cloud event, this physical meetup has been changed to an online event.
The networking event for its “Most Valuable Professional” program, will still run during the planned period for the physical event, that is March 16 to 20.
There you have a list of global tech events that have been cancelled or postponed due to the spread of COVID 19. Don’t forget to always adopt preventive measures like washing hands for at least 20 seconds frequently and avoid touching your face as much as you can.
Get the best of Africa’s daily tech to your inbox – first thing every morning.
Join the community now!