Mobile World Congress 2020 called off over coronavirus concerns
13 February 2020
Mobile World Congress 2020, the world’s biggest trade show for smart phones, due to open in Barcelona, Spain, on 24-27 February, has been cancelled.
The GSMA decided to call off the show after several of the biggest exhibitors pulled out citing the threat of the coronavirus.
The Mobile World Congress that started with its first edition in Barcelona in 2006, has been the main meeting point of industry leaders, governments, ministers, policymakers and operators 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 organisers stated in a website brief.
The release said GSMA and the city of Barcelona 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,” it added.
Several participants, including Japan’s Sony Corp, graphics giant Nvidia Corp, Swedish telecom gear-maker Ericsson, South Korea's LG Electronics, software provider Amdocs, e-commerce major Amazon and Japan’s NTT Docomo, have withdrawn from the event.
Nvidia, incidentally, was also one of the biggest sponsors of the event.
The GSMA had, on 9 February, said it would be going ahead with the event while also announcing necessary precautions to ensure public safety. It had barred visitors from the Hubei province in China, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, and had adopted a ‘no-handshake policy’ this year.