IBM withdraws from RSA cyber security conference over coronavirus fears

International Business Machines Corp on Friday said it had cancelled its participation in the RSA cyber security conference due to coronavirus-related concerns.

"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.

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 cancelled their registration is about 0.79% of the total number of expected attendees, RSA said.

The total number of exhibitors, including IBM, who have cancelled 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 said it had cancelled 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 cancelled 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.

Source: Reuters 15 February, Bengaluru 

Reporting: Arundhati Sarkar