MENLO PARK (CBS SF) – Facebook announced Thursday that it has canceled its upcoming F8 developers conference in May amid ongoing concerns about the spreading coronavirus.
The event was scheduled to take place on May 5th and 6th at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose.
“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,” the social networking giant headquartered in Menlo Park said in a statement.
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“We explored other ways to keep the in-person part of F8, but it’s important to us to host an inclusive event and it didn’t feel right to have F8 without our international developers in attendance,” organizers went on to say.
Facebook said it plans to hold alternative events for its developers with “locally hosted events, videos and live streamed content” and will donate $500,000 to local organizations serving the people of San Jose. More details will be announced at a later date.
The announcement comes as a Solano County resident was diagnosed with coronavirus, in what is possibly the first case of person-to-person transmission of the virus in the United States.
Other major technology conferences in the Bay Area and around the world have been impacted by the outbreak. The Mobile World Congress scheduled for this week in Barcelona, Spain, was called off after multiple tech giants pulled out amid coronavirus fears. Several major tech giants have also pulled out of the RSA cybersecurity conference, which is being held in San Francisco this week.