IBM withdraws from RSA conference over coronavirus fears

Technology

(Reuters) – International Business Machines Corp (IBM.N) on Friday said it had canceled its participation in the RSA cyber security conference due to coronavirus-related concerns.

FILE PHOTO: A man stands near an IBM logo at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 25, 2019. REUTERS/Sergio Perez/File Photo

“The health of IBMers is our primary concern as we continue to monitor upcoming events and travel relative to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)”, the company said in a tweet here

The event is scheduled to take place Feb. 24–28 in San Francisco.

RSA said in a statement that it would proceed as scheduled despite IBM’s decision to no longer participate in the conference as a Platinum Sponsor.

The number of individuals, including those from IBM, who have canceled their registration is about 0.79% of the total number of expected attendees, RSA said.

The total number of exhibitors, including IBM, who have canceled their participation as a sponsor or exhibitor is eight, with six of them from China, one from the United States and one from Canada, RSA added.

Earlier in the day, Facebook Inc (FB.O) said it had canceled its global marketing summit scheduled for next month in San Francisco due to coronavirus-related risks.

The Mobile World Congress (MWC), the annual telecoms industry gathering in Barcelona, was also canceled after a mass exodus by exhibitors on coronavirus fears.

The virus, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has killed more than 1,500 people so far and infected more than 66,000 people on the Chinese mainland.

Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Daniel Wallis

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