Published: Wed, February 12, 2020
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Major blow to MWC as Ericsson pulls out due to coronavirus

Major blow to MWC as Ericsson pulls out due to coronavirus

Industry watchers had warned that others may soon follow suit. The cost of putting up and running a stand running into millions of dollars, according to people who have worked at the event in past years.

The death toll in China's novel coronavirus epidemic has risen to 636 with 73 new mortalities reported, mostly from the worst-affected Hubei province, while the total number of confirmed cases has crossed 31,000.

Following the decision by South Korea's LG Electronics to withdraw from the event that runs from February 24 to 27, Ericsson said it took the decision to pull out after carrying out an extensive internal risk assessment.

Currently, Ericson, LG and NVIDIA have decided not to take part in MWC 2020.

But it admitted other companies are considering whether to attend.

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Bombardier and Gulfstream Aerospace have also said they will not attend.

"The GSMA has implemented many measures to help to mitigate the spread of the virus and is continuing to add other actions regularly", GSMA said in an announcement this week.

Ericsson said it has chose to withdraw after "a comprehensive internal risk assessment".

Ericsson says that while it appreciates the steps taken by the GSMA to control the risk at the event, it doesn't want to take any chances with the health and safety of its employees or visitors.

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NVIDIA joins Ericsson and LG that recently pulled out of Mobile World Congress 2020.

More important is the signal that it sends.

"Ericsson could be the start of a domino rally", Fogg said. "It gives smaller suppliers permission to possibly not be present".

However, he said there was not much discussion about the virus among his clients.

Like Ericsson, LG has announced that it will hold events to show its products. Ericsson's cancellation will have some impact on our presence at this time and will potentially have further impact.

Organizers and local authorities have made an effort this week to worry about the virus.

For the moment, the GSMA has issued a statement regarding Ericsson's decision.

Microsoft said his plans to participate remain unchanged for the time being.

Earlier, LG Electronics said in a statement that considering the safety of its employees, partners and customers, "LG has chose to withdraw from exhibiting and participating in MWC 2020 later this month in Barcelona, Spain".

"This decision will prevent needlessly exposing hundreds of LG employees to worldwide travel, which most health experts have advised", LG said.

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