Amazon is the latest to pull out of MWC over coronavirus worries

Joanna Estrada
April 10, 2020

"This is also what the Mobile World Congress, the "class reunion" of our industry, stands for", Deutsche Telekom CEO Tim Hoettges posted on LinkedIn.

Shortly before the official cancellation, Barcelona's mayor Ada Colau said that the city was "perfectly prepared" for Mobile World Congress to take place and that there was "no reason whatsoever" to apply emergency measures, according to a story from Spanish outlet La Vanguardia. However, the coronavirus outbreak and fear of the illness spreading through the show's venue prompted numerous leading electronics vendors, including LG, Amazon, Intel, and Nvidia, to cancel their attendance.

In today's announcement, the GSMA also noted it wanted to keep Barcelona, the host city for MWC, safe from the illness.

The GSMA's decision not to push through with the event, which was to be held from February 24 to 27, has come as the coronavirus has so far infected more than 44,000 people and killed more than 1,100 in mainland China, with cases reported in more than 20 other countries.

The words in Nokias press release say pretty much the same - it evaluated the situation with GSMA, stakeholders and external experts and authorities, but eventually chose to cancel participation.

Huawei, ZTE, Nvidia, Intel, Amazon, Sony, MediaTek, Vivo, and others already confirmed they won't be coming to this year's MWC due to infection concerns.

Peng indicated that "it would be hard to find a bigger stage than MWC this year".

Last month, HMD Global announced that it will hold a pre-MWC event on February 23 in Barcelona, Spain, where it is expected to unveil a couple of new phones. Since the first edition in Barcelona in 2006, the GSMA convened the industry, governments, ministers, policymakers, operators and industry leaders who attend the show to check out the latest in smartphone technology.

Organized by the GSM Association (GSMA) and set to take place in Barcelona from February 24 to February 27, the event had been in a state of uncertainty for some time with numerous major vendors already pulling out.

MWC Barcelona serves as "a catalyst to facilitate the industry's momentum", said Bryan Ma, vice-president of client devices research at IDC.

The press statement put up on their official website says the decision was made after much deliberation and careful monitoring of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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