Coronavirus Fears Lead Google to Cancel Its Biggest Event of the YearF

Annual Google I/O developer conferences attracted 7,000 attendees last year

Last Updated: March 13, 2020 @ 11:32 AM

Google on Tuesday cancelled its Google I/O developer conference, the tech giant’s biggest event of the year, due to coronavirus concerns.

“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,” the company told TheWrap.

The event, which attracted about 7,000 people last year, was scheduled for May 12-14 at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Google’s hometown of Mountain View, California. Google added it will look to “explore other ways to evolve Google I/O to best connect with our developer community,” but did not have firm details on those plans on Tuesday. Purchased tickets will be refunded next week.

At the same time, Google has also restricted international business travel for its employees, according to CNBC.

Google’s cancelled event comes as other tech and media giants are scrapping plans due to fears over coronavirus. Last week, Facebook cancelled its annual F8 developer conference, also held in Northern California, and the company has backed out of its plans to attend South by Southwest in Austin, Texas this month.

In the U.S., nine people have died from coronavirus as of Tuesday afternoon, according to the Washington Post. Overall, more than 90,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed globally.