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Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Adobe pull out of more conferences as coronavirus spreads

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at an event at Facebook’s Headquarters office in Menlo Park, California on January 15, 2012.

Josh Edelson | AFP | Getty Images

Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Adobe on Monday announced their decisions to cancel, alter or pull out of various upcoming conferences due to the spreading of the coronavirus. 

Google announced that its Google Cloud Next 2020 event that was scheduled for April 6 through April 8 in San Francisco will now only be held virtually “out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety.” Facebook, meanwhile, said it had decided not to participate in SXSW, the conference and festival event that is held in Austin, Texas, every March. And Adobe said it had made the decision to cancel the live portion of its annual Adobe Summit that was scheduled to take place in Las Vegas from March 29 through April 2.

“Over the past few weeks, we have been closely monitoring and evaluating the situation around COVID-19 to ensure we are taking the necessary measures to protect the health and wellbeing of Adobe Summit attendees,” Adobe said in a statement. “As a result, we have made the difficult but important decision to make Adobe Summit 2020 an online event this year and to cancel the live event in Las Vegas.”

Microsoft had been planning to hold its MVP Global Summit on March 15 to March 20 in the Washington state cities of Bellevue and Redmond, but the company will now run the event digitally given concerns, a spokesperson told CNBC in an email. Thousands of people attend the annual event for Microsoft-designated non-employees known as most valuable professionals who spread the word about Microsoft products and regional directors who participate in events and give Microsoft feedback.

The companies’ decisions are the latest in a series of cancelations to major annual events held by the tech industry each year. 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.

–CNBC’s Jordan Novet and Jennifer Elias contributed to this report.