Taipei, One of the world’s biggest computer and technology trade shows – Computex – has been cancelled amid fears over the continuing spread of COVID-19 in other parts of the world, organizers said Friday.
The cancellation of Computex Taipei 2020 is the first time organizers have canceled the annual tech show since it was first held in 1981.
Jointly organized by the Taipei Computer Associations (TCA) and the government-sponsored trade promotion group Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), the 5-day exhibition last year hosted 1,685 exhibitors from 30 countries and attracted 42,495 potential foreign buyers from 171 countries, according to the organizers.
Although Taiwan’s efforts to contain the virus spread have paid off, with no new confirmed local COVID-19 cases for 60 days, the number of people infected worldwide is still rising, reaching 7.3 million this week.
As a result, Taiwan’s border controls and travel restrictions remain in place, even though the government has eased some of its restrictions on large gatherings, social distancing, and the need to wear face masks, and has encouraged people to take domestic trips.
Most foreigners are not allowed to enter or transit through the country and those allowed to come to Taiwan must be quarantined for 14 days after arriving.
The Computex organizers, which had previously rescheduled the 2020 exhibition to Sept. 28-30, from June 2-6, and cut short the show from five days to three days, said since foreign visitors cannot visit Taiwan due to the border controls, they decided to cancel the event this year.
They said the decision was made under careful consideration for the sake of the public’s health, and follows the Central Epidemic Command Center’s (CECC’s) measures against the disease.
To help Taiwanese companies connect with buyers from around the world, organizers said they are launching a series of online services to link the global tech industry with Computex, such as COMPUTEXOnlineTalks and COMPUTEX Online Sourcing Meetings.
Some budget-conscious small-sized tech exporters in Taiwan, however, said Computex serves as one of the most important occasions for them to meet foreign potential buyers face to face and show them their products. They say the cancellation of the show this year will likely affect their business.
InnoVEX, a special exhibition featuring start-ups from around the world, which is normally held on the sidelines of Computex, also has been cancelled.
In the meantime, the organizers announced Computex Taipei 2021 will be held from June 1-5 at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center, Hall 1&2, the Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall 1 and the Taipei International Convention Center. (Chang Chien-chung and Frances Huang)
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel