One of the biggest tech event, Mobile World Congress (MWC), which was set to take place at the end of February, is cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. The largest mobile show is taking a break this year after many of its biggest exhibitors withdrew from the event because of the fear over the spread of coronavirus.
The organizers of this Barcelona event, GSMA, announced Wednesday, February 12 that it is calling off this year's MWC. John Hoffman, CEO of the GSMA, said in a statement that "The global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for GSMA to hold the event."
Companies pull out of MWC 2020
As reported earlier, LG was the first big name to announce that it would be pulling out of the event. Later, big names like AT&T, Facebook and Amazon, as well as Sony cancelled their participation in the annual event. The withdrawing cited the health risk that the coronavirus posed to their employees at the show.
After multiple updates insisting MWC would go ahead as planned, the organizers have decided to cancel world's top mobile phone event after Nokia, HMD, Deutsche Telekom and BT added themselves to the list of dropouts. The decision to cancel the show was taken in a Wednesday meeting by the GSMA council.
CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood said, "The GSMA has been a victim of circumstances out of its control, and it's a huge disappointment the show will not go ahead this year. MWC is an anchor event for many, and now they face the challenge of having to figure out what is the best way to salvage something from this difficult situation."
Wood also mentioned that the biggest victims of the show cancellation will be the smaller companies which were planned to attend the event and many have invested a large amount of money in their planning for the show. He said that the organizers, GSMA, now need to be more careful that there is not a knock of effect from the cancellation. "Major companies and many attendees will be reviewing the importance of MWC to their business, and the GSMA must work hard to have a clear path forward," he added.
In the website of MWC, it said:
The Coronavirus which was discovered in December 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of the Chinese region of Hubei, has brought the worldwide death toll to at least 1,357 and the number of confirmed cases to more than 60,000. As per the Chinese officials, 13,332 of the new cases and just over half the new death toll can be attributed to the new classification.
The Chinese health officials at Hubei reported that 242 more people died from the coronavirus COVID-19 on Wednesday which is the highest in a single day and more than twice the previous record high. The health commission also reported a huge jump in new cases, saying a further 14,840 individuals had been confirmed with coronavirus over the 24-hour period to midnight on Wednesday.