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Josiah Flores
Josiah Flores

GSMA Cancels MWC 2020 Due To Coronavirus Health Concerns


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.




GSMA cancels MWC 2020 due to coronavirus health concerns


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A week ago, LG was the first big name to announce that it would be pulling out of MWC, which had been scheduled to take place at the end of this month. In subsequent days, a who's who of tech companies, including AT&T, Facebook and Amazon, cancelled their participation in the annual event. The number of dropouts snowballed until only a handful of the event's major exhibitors remained. The companies withdrawing cited the health risk that the coronavirus posed to their employees at the show, which attracts over 100,000 attendees from around the world.


The organizers behind the Barcelona-based event, GSMA, announced Wednesday it would no longer be holding MWC due to ongoing concerns over the spread of a new strain of coronavirus which originated in China.


"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," GSMA said in a statement.


A press statement issued by GSMA 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."


On February 7, Ericsson issued a press statement saying, "Due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Ericsson has taken the decision to withdraw from the industry event GSMA Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2020 as the health and safety of employees and customers cannot be ensured. The demos and content created for MWC Barcelona will be showcased at local events, called 'Ericsson Unboxed'."


After cancelling the participation at MWC 2020, HMD Global also issued a statement saying: "MWC Barcelona has always been a key event in our annual calendar and we were very excited to showcase our new products to our partners, customers, media and fans. However, the health and safety of our employees, customers, and stakeholders is our highest priority."