Published: Thu, February 27, 2020
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Organisers cancel Barcelona's Mobile World Congress over coronavirus fears

Organisers cancel Barcelona's Mobile World Congress over coronavirus fears

Cisco: "We have made the hard decision to withdraw from participating in Mobile World Congress. due to concerns about the current outbreak of Coronavirus".

According to a report from La Vanguardia, GSMA, which organizes the mobile conference, will make a decision on whether to cancel this year's MWC on Friday, with an announcement in this regard expected just before the weekend. As noted in a post by MSPU, more than 20 high-profile companies have already pulled out of the Barcelona-based tech event, including Facebook, Amazon, Sony, LG, HMD Global (Nokia), Nvidia, Intel, and others. ZTE, which had said it will hold a press meet over MWC, canceled the press meet itself. In a statement, GSMA CEO John Hoffman said that the event is simply "impossible" to host this year due to complications from the virus.

Originally scheduled to kick off on February 24th, MWC would have seen smartphone and smart home device makers from around the world congregate in Barcelona to show off and announce new products for 2020.

Over the last couple of weeks, we've seen a number of companies pull out of appearances at Mobile World Congress due to Coronavirus concerns.

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Coronavirus is a potential headwind, but as a dynamic situation it's too early to say how things will turn out, ' she added. The group said it usually stocks up before the Chinese New Year , which means that there should be no short-term issues.

And naturally, the tech industry isn't immune to this either - in to a statement on the GSMA website yesterday (12th February), the organisation announced that they have made a decision to cancel the 2020 edition of Mobile World Congress (MWC).

For the companies still planning to attend MWC, the cancellation comes as a blow.

"The impact on small companies who have invested a disproportionate amount of their budgets and time on this event should not be under-estimated". Analyst Ben Wood says, "The GSMA now needs to be careful that there is not a knock of effect from this year's cancellation". The GSMA and the host city partners will continue to be working in unison and supporting each other for MWC Barcelona 2021 and future editions.

Coronavirus has killed many more people, and infected tens of thousands more, in a much shorter period of time.

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