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Amazon cancels on-site presence at CES, T-Mobile scales back due to Omicron concerns

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CES in Las Vegas in 2017. (GeekWire File Photo / Kevin Lisota)

Amazon is one of several big tech companies that have decided not to attend or exhibit at the International CES trade show and conference in Las Vegas from January 5-8. The decision, prompted by the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, also applies to the company’s Ring smart-home subsidiary.

Meta, Pinterest and Twitter also no longer plan to attend, Bloomberg News reported.

T-Mobile will “significantly limit” its in-person participation, and cancel a planned keynote by CEO Mike Sievert.

“While we are confident that CES organizers are taking exhaustive measures to protect in-person attendees and we had many preventative practices in place as well, we are prioritizing the safety of our team and other attendees with this decision,” the Bellevue-based wireless carrier said in its announcement.

The event was held virtually last year. As of this morning, CES organizers planned to continue on with the show. CES requires attendees to be fully vaccinated, and recommends testing.

The Consumer Technology Association, which runs the event, told Axios that it had “received several thousand new registrants since late last week.” It added, “Thousands of entrepreneurs, businesses, media and buyers are planning to come to Las Vegas. Top leaders from federal and state and foreign governments are attending.”

Some major companies still plan to participate in person. For example, General Motors CEO Mary Barra still planned to attend and speak at the event as of Tuesday, Reuters reported.

Tech news organizations including The Verge, Engadget, CNet and others no longer plan to send reporters to cover the show in person. GeekWire decided previously to cover the event virtually this year.

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