Concern over the coronavirus prompted Facebook to cancel a global marketing summit that was set to take place next month in San Francisco, a sign that the economic fallout from the outbreak could be spreading outside of China.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we canceled our Global Marketing Summit due to evolving public health risks related to coronavirus,” a Facebook spokesperson said on Friday, according to the Financial Times.
Many big corporate events due to take place in Asia have been canceled in recent weeks due to coronavirus fears, including the London Metal Exchange’s annual Hong Kong convention and the Art Basel air fair in Hong Kong.
But the Facebook event was set to take place in San Francisco, where there have been no confirmed cases of the coronavirus. This is similar to the decision of the organizers of the Mobile World Congress, Europe’s biggest wireless conference, to cancel the Barcelona event. Together they raise the prospect that the economic fallout, particularly for airlines and hotels, could reach far beyond China and Asia.
In late January, Facebook told employees to suspend any non-essential travel to mainland China. The company also requested that any workers who have recently traveled to China to work from home.