Waymo, TikTok join retreat from CES over rising COVID-19 cases

Written by on December 23, 2021

December 23, 2021

By Paresh Dave

(Reuters) -Waymo, the Alphabet Inc-owned self-driving auto-technology company, and ByteDance’s social video app TikTok on Thursday joined the companies no longer attending the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in person early next month due to rising COVID-19 infections.

Waymo said in a blog post that it hopes to participate virtually if possible at the Las Vegas event, which traditionally has drawn over 180,000 people from around the world to discuss emerging technologies and party through the night with business contacts.

TikTok said it would hold a virtual event for partners and advertisers.

Several other companies including Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc, Twitter Inc, Lenovo Group, AT&T Inc and Amazon.com Inc dropped in-person attendance plans earlier this week, saying they would not send employees out of caution over the spread of Omicron.

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 was first detected last month in Hong Kong and southern Africa, sparking global concerns about a fast-spreading new version of the virus. Coronavirus infections have soared wherever highly infectious Omicron has spread, triggering new restrictions in many countries.

(Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by Mark Porter and Cynthia Osterman)

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