San Francisco, Feb 27 (efe-epa).- US multinational Facebook on Thursday cancelled its annual F8 developer conference, which had been scheduled for May 5-6 in San Jose, California, due to fears over the coronavirus epidemic.
“This was a tough call to make – F8 is an incredibly important event for Facebook and it’s one of our favorite ways to celebrate all of you from around the world – but we need to prioritize the health and safety of our developer partners, employees and everyone who helps put F8 on,” said Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, Facebook’s director of developer platforms and programs, in a statement on the company’s official blog.
The developer conference, Facebook’s biggest event of the year and similar to the conferences held by other tech giants like Google and Apple each year, draws thousands of people from around the globe to the convention center in San Jose.
Last year, the F8 conference attracted more than 5,000 developers, creators and entrepreneurs from all over the world.
In recent weeks, Facebook has cancelled several events it was going to hold and has pulled out of international fairs such as the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona – which ended up being cancelled anyway – the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco and the PAX East in Boston.
For now, neither Apple nor Google have suspended their own developer conferences, although the tech industry is being significantly affected by the worldwide spread of the coronavirus.
On Wednesday, Microsoft said that it would not meet the earnings expectations it had previously announced for the current quarter due to the effect the COVID-19 virus is having on its providers in China.
Specifically, Microsoft lowered its earnings expectations for its “personal computation” sector, which includes – in addition to the Windows operating system – its Xbox videoconsole and Surface touchscreen computers.
Another tech giant with strong commecial links to China, Apple, has also said that the coronavirus will have negative repercussions on its business.
The coronavirus, or COVID-19 – formerly known simply as the Wuhan virus, for the city in China where it was discovered in December – has killed more than 2,800 people worldwide and infected more than 82,000. In the US, 60 people have been diagnosed with the virus, including 42 who were passengers on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan.