Published: Thu, February 13, 2020
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Mobile World Congress has been cancelled due to coronavirus fears

Mobile World Congress has been cancelled due to coronavirus fears

The cancellation of MWC means the tech industry is losing a major publicity event to show off their latest smartphones and mobile gadgets to the world.

But in recent days, companies from Sony and Intel to Amazon and Facebook said they would stay away because of worries about the safety of their employees.

The Mobile World Congress, the world's largest mobile trade show hosted by Barcelona, has been canceled after major players such as Ericsson and Nokia withdrew due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak, its organizer announced Wednesday.

Our deepest sympathies are with those affected in China, and all around the world.

The fair was scheduled to take place in Barcelona from 24 to 27 February.

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Shortly after that initial report came out, the GSMA issued an official press release.

The decision to scrap the February 24-27 event in Barcelona was taken Wednesday after dozens of tech companies and wireless carriers dropped out over what has recently been dubbed COVID-19, including major companies like Ericsson, Nokia, Sony, Amazon, Intel and LG.

GSMA funds much of its budget from the event, charging 799 euros ($872) for a basic admissions pass. In what feels more like a borderline-desperate attempt at policy, they also said that madatory temperature screenings would be in place as a final stop-gap. The event was expected to have a almost half-billion euro impact on the Spanish economy and would have generated in excess of 14,000 temporary jobs in the process.

Stephen Mears, a research analyst on the consulting agency Futuresource, says that within the close to the time period, the cancelation will probably be an enormous blow to the business's marketing efforts. "We will continue to work together for the 2021 and later editions of the Mobile World Congress Party".

But he said that large meetings of people with many global guests pose a particular risk: "Taking this risk would be irresponsible". Some think that China has undercounted cases since the outbreak started for a myriad of reasons. "We are hugely disappointed the show is not going ahead but respect the need to consider the wellbeing of delegates as a result of Coronavirus".

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