Ericsson pulls out of Mobile World Congress amid virus concerns

Joanna Estrada
February 15, 2020

"After an extensive internal risk assessment, Ericsson has chose to take further precautionary measures by withdrawing from MWC Barcelona 2020", the company said on Friday, two days after LG Electronics also made a decision to skip the show. GSMA continues to monitor and assess the potential impact of the Coronavirus on MWC Barcelona 2020 considering the health and safety of exhibitors, attendees and staff are of great importance.

Demos and content created for the event will be shared at a series of events the company is calling "Ericsson Unboxed".

The latest turmoil for MWC came Friday when Sweden's Ericsson, a major supplier of telecom infrastructure gear, said it was pulling out of the February 24-27 event because it feared the health and safety of employees and customers "cannot be ensured". "We regret not attending, but believe this is the right decision". We hope to show our latest innovations at the MWC in Barcelona. The move follows LG's announcement earlier this week that it was pulling out of the show.

The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is the largest mobile technology-focused event in the world, with a typical attendance of over 100,000 and almost all major phone makers and telecoms exhibiting, many of them from China. Their booth is easily one of the most impressive at MWC, yet the company was adamant that the wellbeing of their employees came first.

Novel Coronavirus has already affected Spain and has been spreading to other countries. It looks like LG might not be the only company that has chose to drop out of MWC 2020.

The organizer of the conference said this week that it would go ahead as planned after South Korea's LG Electronics withdrew.

Companies often build elaborate stands to show off their wares and thousands attend the event that is a key gathering for executives to discuss industry developments. The virus, which has left at least 490 people dead, has quickly spread in parts of China and some cases have been reported outside, including Vietnam and Thailand.

The industry body added that it has implemented "extensive "additional health measures" for the event. Defense of the industry has never been more critical, through government and banks, policy makers, operators and industry leaders".

"The GSMA is building on its existing plans to protect the health of our attendees, clients and staff at MWC Barcelona".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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