Tech losses mount as Google and Microsoft cancel events over COVID-19



Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet

Google is the latest to cancel its flagship 2020 event, as new data estimates total losses could reach $900 million.

The Google I/O conference, scheduled to take place at Shoreline Amphitheatre, in Mountain View, CA, from 12th May, has been cancelled following health guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization (WHO).

However, Google Cloud Next 20 will still take place as a series of virtual sessions and live-streamed keynotes.

While Google didn’t elaborate on whether virtual sessions could still be announced for I/O, its statement did confirm that all refunds will be processed by 13th March.


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“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. Guests who have registered for I/O 2020 will not need to enter next year’s drawing and will be automatically granted the option of purchasing an I/O 2021 ticket.

“Over the coming weeks, we will explore other ways to evolve Google I/O to best connect with our developer community,” the statement concluded.

The cancellation is the latest in a series of global events that will no longer go ahead this year, with Microsoft officially cancelling the Microsoft Build conference on 2nd March.

New figures released by PredictHQ estimate that losses from such cancellations could reach US$900 million. However, Data Economy is still working to verify this figure.

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