There is no good way to say this but the Mobile World Congress (MWC 2020) is canceled. The tech event in Barcelona isn’t happening this year due to the threat of the novel coronavirus outbreak. We’ve been hearing similar cases in the past few weeks but we never really thought it could happen this soon to the tech industry. LG may have foreseen this one as the company decided that it’s not joining MWC 2020. It made the special announcement last week and then followed by the news that it will market premium 5G smartphones in Europe and the U.S.
Earlier this week, we shared with you that MWC would go ahead despite the withdrawal of major brands because of the health scare. Now the organizers have made a new decision. The biggest mobile show in the work today is taking a break, at least, for this year.
There is fear over the novel coronavirus and it seems to be getting more serious. It’s no joke when the health of everyone is at stake. Most countries are on a travel ban right now and we know this will hit tourism worst.
The GSMA made the announcement yesterday, February 12, Wednesday. A number of large exhibitors have started to withdraw their participation including Amazon, AT&T, and Facebook. Just over the weekend, the organization assured the public that 2,800 companies still wanted to participate. A few days later, the decision has been reversed.
GSMA’s CEO John Hoffman said in a statement: “The global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances make it impossible for GSMA to hold the event.”
More than 100,000 participants are expected to attend this year but the new coronavirus is making things difficult. It has already spread beyond China with over a thousand deaths. In Spain, there are two confirmed cases now and we’re assuming the government doesn’t want to add to the number.