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

More firms have cancelled their appearances for MWC 2020

More firms have cancelled their appearances for MWC 2020

Perhaps more interesting though is what the floor at MWC 2020 will look like by the time it kicks off on 24th February.

"Out of an abundance of caution, Facebook employees won't be attending this year's Mobile World Congress due to the evolving public health risks related to coronavirus", said a Facebook spokesperson. "As we place the utmost importance on the safety and wellbeing of our customers, partners, media and employees, we have taken the hard decision to withdraw from exhibiting and participating at MWC 2020 in Barcelona, Spain".

"This decision removes the risk of exposing hundreds of LG employees to worldwide travel which has already become more restrictive as the virus continues to spread across borders".

Ericsson, Amazon, Sony and LG had already cancelled plans to attend, amid concerns that delegates could be exposed to the deadly virus.

This follows a similar trend that other companies have followed, especially with a significant contingent of visitors and exhibitors from China heading to the event each year.

Cross another big phone maker off the exhibitor list at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this month.

As for the 2019-nCoV infections, the official number is at over 43,000, with most cases registered in China.

This includes a ban on all travelers from China's Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, while those who have been in China must provide proof they have been overseas for 14 days.

Thousands on cruise liner freed after test
A passenger aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship waves to the media upon arriving at Yokohama port on February 6, 2020. More than 360 cases have been confirmed outside mainland China, including two deaths in Hong Kong and the Philippines.

Spain's finance minister, María Jesús Montero, said Spain's health system was "absolutely prepared to respond to any contingency", adding that both the people infected with the coronavirus were asymptomatic but remained in isolation. Nokia, a Finnish equipment maker of similar size and importance to Ericsson, is now monitoring the situation.

These companies have pulled out due to worries about coronavirus - many phone companies are based in China, where the illness originated, and so it's likely there will be a large delegation from the country. All staff present in the booth will be from local offices around Europe, although these will also be monitored over the course of 14 days prior to MWC.

The loss of thousands of delegates, a partial or full or cancellation of MWC would have a significant economic impact on Barcelona.

MWC 2020 was expected to host 109,000 people.

UPDATE 2: Amazon has also confirmed that it's pulling out of MWC 2020.

GSMA also announced the health and safety measures it will implement for all participants.

Meanwhile, staff will be available to take visitor temperatures and the exhibitors will be informed about the best way to disinfect their stands.

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