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SAN FRANCISCO: Big-name tech firms such as Google, Lenovo and Intel on Thursday cancelled plans to attend next month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, joining an exodus fueled by fear of Covid-19.

The three are part of a growing list of companies opting not to put employees at risk by staffing events, exhibits or briefings at the annual gadget extravaganza.

“After careful consideration we have decided to withhold from having a presence on the show floor of CES 2022,” a spokesperson with US internet giant Google said. China-based computer colossus Lenovo said on Twitter it decided to “suspend all on-site activity” at the show. And US chipmaker Intel told AFP that after consulting with health officials, it “will move to a digital-first, live experience, with minimal on-site staff” to reduce risk.

The news came on the heels of several other major companies cancelling or scaling back their plans due to Covid-19 variant Omicron’s rapid spread. The popular four-day conference, which had planned for a grand return, is still scheduled to start January 5.

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