The coronavirus is not just affecting health and relations, it’s impacting on tech too. The MWC, arguably the biggest smartphone trade show of every other year, has been postponed for this year. Reason? The safety and health of attendees is at risk, something that has resulted in numerous stakeholders and manufacturers pulling out of the event weeks prior.
GSMA, the organization that hosts the show in Barcelona annually, says it’s cancelling MWC 2020 over coronavirus-related concerns. The event was slated to run between February 24th and 27th.
“With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has cancelled MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event.”
Statistics indicate that over 100,000 people attended last year’s MWC with a huge portion registered to be from China as well as being Chinese company employees. Now that the country is still healing from the epidemic blow that is still recording infections and deaths, the likelihood of this year’s event happening was very slim.
The announcement comes after several large companies, including Amazon, LG, Sony, NVIDIA, Nokia, and even Samsung said they plan to skip the conference to keep their employees safe from the virus.
Full statement from the GSMA:
Since the first edition of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in 2006, the GSMA has convened the industry, governments, ministers, policymakers, operators and industry leaders across the broader ecosystem.
With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has cancelled MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event.
The Host City Parties respect and understand this decision.
The GSMA and the Host City Parties will continue to be working in unison and supporting each other for MWC Barcelona 2021 and future editions.
Our sympathies at this time are with those affected in China, and all around the world.