Computex 2020 is officially canceled

People visit Computex at Nangang exhibition centre in Taipei on May 28, 2019. (Photo by Chris STOWERS / AFP) (Photo credit should read CHRIS STOWERS/AFP/Getty Images)
People visit Computex at Nangang exhibition centre in Taipei on May 28, 2019. (Photo by Chris STOWERS / AFP) (Photo credit should read CHRIS STOWERS/AFP/Getty Images)
Brian Heater

In March, the Computex organizers delayed the trade show from June to late-September. At the time, the realities of COVID-19 were sinking in for many in the international community, while the trade show’s home of Taipei was dealing with a new flareup of the novel coronavirus. At the time, late-September also felt like a fairly safe bet for some return to normality.

Three months later, however, the timeline now feels overly optimistic. Today, the show’s organizers announced that Computex 2020 won’t be happening. Instead, the show has been “rescheduled” to June 2021. That’s a nicer way of saying that Computex will be missing a year, following in the footsteps of other large tech shows like Barcelona's MWC, which was among the first to be felled by the virus.

A press release notes that Taiwan has largely been spared the virus. The country’s 443 confirmed cases and seven deaths are made all the more remarkable by its proximity to mainland China. Of course, a big part of containing the virus have involved travel lockdowns. Inviting some 43,000 people from around the world to attend an indoor event in your most populous city seems like a reasonably good recipe for spreading the highly contagious virus.

The show will happen June 1-5 2021, putting it back in line with previous years’ events. There also will be some online programming in the meantime. Other shows, meanwhile, have announced plans to go on as planned. Notably, IFA will once again be held in Berlin in September, albeit with a mandated cap on attendance. January’s CES, on the other hand, will go ahead as planned in Vegas.

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