One of the world’s biggest trade show for mobile phones and carriers just got cancelled due to the growing concerns over the spread of the Covid-19 or also known as the novel coronavirus.
The Mobile World Congress (MWC)
Dubbed as the MWC this huge gathering of mobile phone stakeholders and enthusiasts draws about 100,000 attendees. This year, the MWC2020 was supposed to be held in Barcelona, Spain on February 24-27, 2020. What started as a gathering for huge telecommunications companies now evolved to including mobile phone manufacturers as well as other stakeholders like app developers and social media platforms like Facebook. With a booth that costs from hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions of dollars, the MWC is also one of the events that rake in huge profits for the organizers, GSMA.
The Novel Corona Virus or Covid-19
This virus that started in Hubei province and spread across the city of Wuhan killed more than a thousand people as to date. The spread of the virus has gone international and cases were already reported outside of China. The spread of this virus has shown acceleration every day this is why China has locked down the epicenter of the virus and several countries banned people from Wuhan and other parts of China to enter their borders.
Companies Backed Out of MWC2020
Prior to the announcement of GSMA, there were already several companies that have expressed their non-participation in this years’ event. Among those who announced that they will not be attending MWC2020 are LG, Facebook, Intel, Sony, NTT Docomo, Amazon, Sprint and Deutsche Telekom.
The official Statement from GSMA
The organizers of MWC2020 has released their official statement on their website and it states:
" 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.
Further updates from the GSMA, are on our website and can be found on www.mwcbarcelona.com."