With the outbreak of COVID-19, popularly known as the coronavirus, numerous tech giants have cancelled global events and moved to online launch events to prevent the risk of infection. While the Mobile World Congress (MWC) was recently cancelled by hosts GSMA, a similar announcement is now coming in from Google. The company has sent out emails to attendees informing them that its annual I/O developer conference scheduled to take place between May 12th and 14th.
Google’s statement reads, “Due to the rising concerns surrounding the spread of COVID-19 and in accordance with the instructions of the CDC, WHO, and related global health organizations, we have decided to cancel this year’s physical meet at Shoreline Amphitheater”
Google has already cancelled other events like its Games Developer Summit and Cloud Next ’20, which will now be online-only livestream events. It’s likely Google will adopt the same approach for I/O, although an official announcement hasn’t been made.
The Google I/O conference is its biggest annual event, where the company unveils the latest updates regarding Android as well as makes hardware-based announcements. Google is issuing a full refund to every attendee who had registered for the event by March 13th.
This is the first time since its inception back in 2008 that Google canceled its I/O conference. Hosting around 5,000 people each year, Google I/O has been the company’s platform of choice for announcing its latest developer tools and consumer tech, for a major part of the last decade. Google I/O is the latest in a group of tech events to cancel physical meets in 2020, following in the footsteps of the MWC, Facebook’s F8 developer conference, and the Game Developers Conference.