Mobile World Congress Cancelled Over Coronavirus Fears

"Many suppliers, including those from China, leverage MWC to connect with customers from around the world", said Ma.

A number of phone and technology giants pulled out from the event.

Other companies that have cancelled or scaled back their plans for MWC due to the outbreak include LG, NVIDIA and Ericsson.

The coronavirus is a virus that has been declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO).

So far, Spain has only registered two confirmed cases of infection, one in the Canary Islands and one in Mallorca in the Balearic Islands.

Mobile World Congress was expected to attract more than 100,000 attendees from across the globe. Sony says its press conference will still be on, but that it will be a video-only event hosted on its Xperia YouTube channel.

Just hours before the meeting, the latest big names to drop out were Vodafone, Nokia, Deutsche Telekom, Britain's BT and Rakuten of Japan, following in the footsteps of Intel, Facebook, Cisco and China's Vivo.

Will MWC 2020 be rescheduled?

London-based GSMA, organiser of the event, represents the interests of more than 750 mobile network operators around the world.

John Hoffman, GSMA Chief Executive, said the decision to cancel the show was a "huge disappointment".

"The impact on small companies who have invested a disproportionate amount of their budgets and time on this event should not be under-estimated. MWC is an anchor event for many and now they face the challenge of having to figure out what the best way to salvage something from this hard situation".

Does the cancellation cause problems for MWC 2021?

"MWC is the event where major mobile tech companies discuss their vision and show off their capabilities", said Nicole Peng, vice-president of mobility at research firm Canalys.

"This is particularly true for smaller business that have had to swallow numerous costs from this year's show".

"We have already implemented additional health measures ahead of MWC 2020 and will continue to seek expert medical advice on a frequent basis". In an official statement, HMD says it has been monitoring the coronavirus outbreak situation closely and has chose to skip the MWC 2020 after much deliberation.



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