Facebook is pulling out of SXSW due to coronavirus fears (FB)


FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019 file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on Facebook's impact on the financial services and housing sectors. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to throw his support behind international reforms that would require Silicon Valley tech giants to pay more tax in Europe. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

  • Facebook is pulling out of SXSW due to coronavirus fears.
  • The tech giant said on Monday it was pulling out of the buzzy Austin, Texas tech and culture festival.
  • Twitter previously pulled out of the event, and its prospects look increasingly uncertain.
  • The COVID-19 outbreak has caused disruption to businesses and events around the globe.

Facebook is dropping out of the buzzy SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, due to concerns around the growing coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement, a spokesperson told Business Insider: “Due to concerns related to coronavirus, our company and employees will not be participating in SXSW this year.”

Since its outbreak in Wuhan, China, in late 2019, COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has spread to dozens of countries around the world, sickening more than 88,000 people globally and killing more than 3,000, with the vast majority of cases and deaths in China. It is also causing mounting disruption for global business, interrupting supply chains and forcing the cancellation of major events.

Facebook’s withdrawal from SXSW is a major blow for the tech and culture festival, which Twitter also recently announced it would not attend this year. Earlier on Monday, SXSW said the event was still going ahead, and is “working closely on a daily basis with local, state, and federal agencies to plan for a safe event.”

Facebook recently canceled its F8 developer conference that was scheduled for May and set to be its biggest event of the year. It has also said that the production of its Oculus Quest virtual-reality headset has been affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Earlier on Monday, Facebook announced it was blocking employees from bringing social guests to work and cutting down on its on-site job interviews as fears mount over the spread of the coronavirus.

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