The 2020 Mobile World Congress (MWC) has been cancelled due to the Corona Virus concerns. The event was scheduled to take place from 24th to 27th of February.
The cancellation comes a week after some of the exhibitors and companies have pulled out of MWC.
GSMA CEO John Hoffman in a statement confirmed that the coronavirus outbreak has made it difficult to hold the event.
“With due regard to a safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country. GSMA has cancelled MWC 2020 because of the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event.”
He added, “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.”
LG pulled out of MWC earlier this month, and ZTE cancelled a planned press event over coronavirus fears. Ericsson, one of the largest exhibitors at MWC, also withdrew from the show, before Nvidia, Intel, Vivo, Sony, Amazon, and NTT Docomo all followed and cancelled appearances. Cisco, Nokia, BT, and HMD also cancelled appearances this week.
The event would feature a big Chinese phone maker presence, with all of the country’s major smartphone brands set to appear at the show.
The fight against the novel coronavirus continues to be unstable. The number of people diagnosed in Hubei – where the outbreak emerged is stabilising. Chinese health officials in the Hubei province have reported 242 new deaths and 14,840 new cases of the flu-like virus.
This brings the worldwide death toll to at least 1,357 and the number of confirmed cases to more than 60,000.
The GSM Association (GSMA), which organizes MWC has decided to cancel the show for the sake of the safety of the participants.
The GSMA represents more than 1,200 companies across the mobile ecosystem. Every year, MWC gives a chance to thousands of brands to network or gather for partnerships, deals, and product launches.
MWC has a big economic impact of up to 492 million euros and also generates 14,100 part-time jobs.