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Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Samsung said Tuesday that it won't participate in the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin this September, instead hosing a digital event early in the month.

Why it matters: The organizers behind some major tech conferences, including IFA and CES are hoping to move forward with in-person events, but could face steep resistance from key constituencies amid the coronavirus pandemic.

What they're saying: "We have taken the exciting decision to share our latest news and announcements at our own digital event in early September," Samsung told Axios in a statement. "While Samsung will not be participating in IFA 2020, we look forward to our continued partnership with IFA in the future.”

  • The Consumer Technology Association, which produces CES, has said it also wants to move forward with an in-person event in January, though its announcement was met with skepticism from journalists and analysts who regularly attend the event.

Our thought bubble: Announcing a conference will move forward doesn't mean it will. Mobile World Congress had hoped to proceed this past February despite COVID-19 but was forced to cancel as key exhibitors pulled out.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
4 mins ago - Economy & Business

Merger Monday has been overrun by SPACs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Five companies this morning announced plans to go public via reverse mergers with SPACs, at an aggregate market value of more than $15 billion. And there might be even more by the time you read this.

The bottom line: SPAC merger activity hasn't peaked. If anything, it's just getting started.

Moderna says vaccine appears to protect against new COVID-19 variants

Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine is effective against new variants of the virus that first appeared in the U.K. and in South Africa, the company announced on Monday.

Yes, but: The vaccine was as effective against the strain from U.K., but saw a six-fold reduction in antibodies against the South Africa variant. Even still, the neutralizing antibodies generated by the vaccine "remain above levels that are expected to be protective," according to the company.

Dave Lawler, author of World
Updated 1 hour ago - World

Xi Jinping warns against "new cold war" in Davos speech

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Wang Zhao - Pool/Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping warned that a "new cold war" could turn hot, and must be avoided, in a speech on Monday at World Economic Forum’s virtual “Davos Agenda” conference.

Why it matters: Xi didn't refer directly to U.S.-China tensions, but the subtext was clear. These were his first remarks to an international audience since the inauguration of President Biden, whose administration has already concurred with Donald Trump's determination that China is committing "genocide" against Uyghur Muslims, and issued a warning about China's aggression toward Taiwan.