Google has canceled its biggest event of the year because of coronavirus concerns
Google has canceled its annual Google I/O developers conference over coronavirus-related concerns, the company said on Tuesday. The cancellation comes after a string of other high-profile events have been scrapped because of the virus, including Mobile World Congress and Facebook's F8 conference. Blog 9to5Google first reported Google's decision to call off the event.
Google said it will cancel the physical event, which usually takes place at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California, and will "explore other ways to evolve Google I/O to best connect with our developer community."
"Due to concerns around the coronavirus (COVID-19), and in accordance with health guidance from the CDC, WHO, and other health authorities, we have decided to cancel the physical Google I/O event at Shoreline Amphitheatre," a Google spokesperson said in a comment to Business Insider. "Over the coming weeks, we will explore other ways to evolve Google I/O to best connect with and continue to build our developer community. We'll continue to update the Google I/O website."
Google I/O is the company's largest event of the year, where it usually unveils new products and features like its next version of Android, gadgets like the Pixel 3a and Nest Hub Max, and advancements in artificial intelligence.
It's far from being the first major event to be canceled because of coronavirus-related concerns. In addition to Facebook F8 and Mobile World Congress, Adobe also canceled its annual summit, and the Game Developers Conference that usually takes place in san Francisco in March has been postponed. More than 35,000 people have signed a petition calling for the cancellation of South by Southwest, a media festival that takes place in Austin, Texas this month.
Google has also prohibited employees from traveling internationally unless they have been granted special permission as coronavirus-related fears continue to mount, Business Insider's Rob Price reported earlier on Tuesday.
The coronavirus has killed more than 3,000 people and infected more than 90,000 around the world. It has spread to every province and region in China and 74 other countries. The outbreak has disrupted global supply chains, upended travel as airlines have altered flights, and caused the stock market to plummet.