Google says Cloud Next will be held virtually as coronavirus spreads

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Thomas Kurian, CEO of Alphabet’s Google Cloud, speaks at the Google Cloud Next conference in San Francisco on April 9, 2019.

Michael Short | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Google said on Monday that its upcoming cloud conference will only be held virtually due to the spreading of the coronavirus.

The company’s three-day Google Cloud Next 2020 event was supposed to be held in San Francisco from April 6-8, but will now just be livestreamed. Last year, the conference attracted 30,000 attendees, according to the company’s website.

“Out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of our customers, partners and employees, and in alignment with the best practices laid out by the CDC, WHO and other relevant entities regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), Google Cloud has decided to reimagine Google Cloud Next ’20,” a company spokesperson said in a statement. Streamed events will include “keynotes, breakout sessions, interactive learning and digital ‘ask an expert’ sessions with Google teams,” the company said.

Google is among a growing number of tech companies to postpone, alter or cancel big events because of the coronavirus. Facebook said on Thursday that it canceled its annual F8 software developer conference, and Workday told employees last week that its annual internal sales meeting scheduled for early March will be held online instead of in San Jose, California. Also on Friday, the Game Developers Conference, a major annual event for video game programmers and designers scheduled for March in San Francisco, was postponed.

Google IO, the company’s annual developer conference in Silicon Valley, is still scheduled to take place in May, but it could be at risk of being cancelled.

“We have no updates to share regarding Google I/O at the moment,” Google said. “This is a quickly evolving situation, and we will continue to monitor COVID-19 developments and guidance coming from” health agencies, the company said.

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