March 5, 2020 / 2:56 AM / in a month

Apple, Netflix pull out of South by Southwest festival amid coronavirus outbreak

The logo of U.S. technology company Apple is seen at a branch office in Basel, Switzerland March 2, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

(Reuters) - Apple Inc and Netflix Inc said they were pulling out of the South by Southwest music and tech festival to be held later this month, amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The U.S. death toll from coronavirus infections rose to 11 on Wednesday and California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a statewide emergency amid the nation’s largest outbreak.

Facebook Inc had said earlier this week it would not participate in the festival.

Representatives of the event did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Organizers of the South by Southwest music and tech festival, set to be held in Austin, Texas, had said last month the event would proceed as planned despite “a handful” of cancellations related to the virus.

The outbreak has disrupted other tech conferences and gatherings, including the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and Google’s annual developer event, Google I/O. Companies have also changed their work and travel plans.

IBM said on Wednesday its developer conference ‘IBM Think 2020’ would be an online event and take place from May 5-7.

The company said it has issued new travel restrictions through the end of March.

Reporting by Rama Venkat and Bharath Manjesh in Bengaluru and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Maju Samuel and Vinay Dwivedi

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