CES 2022: To attend or not attend?

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CES 2022: To attend or not attend?

A rendering of Hyundai Heavy Industries' booth at CES 2022. CEO Chung Ki-sun will be present at the trade show, one of the few company heads that confirmed attendance. [HYUNDAI HEAVY INDUSTRIES]

A rendering of Hyundai Heavy Industries' booth at CES 2022. CEO Chung Ki-sun will be present at the trade show, one of the few company heads that confirmed attendance. [HYUNDAI HEAVY INDUSTRIES]

 
With only a week before the opening of CES 2022, not many Korean CEOs have confirmed attendance at the big electronics trade show in Las Vegas.
 
As concerns about the Omicron variant of Covid crest, some companies are sticking to online events and minimizing the number of employees they're sending abroad. 
 
SK Inc. Chairman Chey Tae-won was expected to go to Vegas to give a speech about the company’s carbon neutrality plans, but the company announced Wednesday he won't be attending this year. 
 
This year’s CES will be the biggest for that group, with a record six subsidiaries attending: SK hynix, SK Ecoplant, SK Innovation, SK Telecom, SK Square and SK E&S.  
 
Hyundai Motor Group couldn't confirm if Chairman Euisun Chung was going.  
 
“We aren’t yet notified about Chairman Chung’s schedule, and can’t officially announce his attendance,” said a spokesperson for Hyundai Motor.  
 
Chung went to CES four years in a row until 2018 as Vice President and in 2020 he went as Hyundai chairman.  
 
A teaser image for Hyundai Motor's CES 2022 presentation [HYUNDAI MOTOR]

A teaser image for Hyundai Motor's CES 2022 presentation [HYUNDAI MOTOR]

 
Han Jong-hee, head of Samsung Electronics' Device eXperience division, will be attending to give a speech. Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong will not attend. He hasn’t gone to CES since 2013.
 
The company said it is minimizing the number of its employees going to the show.
 
LG Electronics CEO Cho Joo-wan also hasn’t confirmed his attendance. LG Corp. CEO Koo Kwang-mo will not attend, and hasn’t been gone to CES since he was appointed in 2018.
 
LG said it was also minimizing its CES 2022 visitors. 
 
Its booth will be a so-called “hybrid” exhibit, with new products mainly introduced online and visitors using augmented and virtual reality gadgets to try them out. 
 
Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings' Chung Ki-sun was one of the earliest CEOs to confirm attendance. Chung was named CEO in October, and it is the first time the company has sent its boss. 
 
SK Telecom CEO Ryu Young-sang will be attending. KT CEO Koo Hyun-mo will not, but some of his executives will.    
 
General Motors CEO Mary Barra was supposed to deliver a keynote speech at the show and unveil the new Silverado pickup truck. However, the company announced the event will be streamed online.  
 
Big tech companies including Alphabet’s Google, Meta, Amazon and Twitter also announced they will not send people to CES 2022. They will participate remotely through online booths and live-streamed speeches. 
 
"While we recently received 42 exhibitor cancellations, less than 7 percent of our exhibit floor, since last Friday we've added 60 new exhibitors for our in person event," CES announced via statement on Dec. 22.

BY KANG KI-HEON, KWEN YU-JIN, LEE TAE-HEE [lee.taehee2@joongang.co.kr]
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