Mobile World Congress canceled as coronavirus epidemic makes conference ‘impossible’

Mobile World Congress (MWC), the world’s largest trade show for the mobile phone industry, has been canceled amid growing fears over the coronavirus epidemic.

The organizer behind the Barcelona-based event, GSMA announced on Wednesday it would no longer be able to hold the MWC amid the 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.

Multiple tech giants had pulled out of the tech conference prior to the GSMA’s decision, putting pressure on the hosts to cancel the event. LG, Sony, Ericsson, Nokia, Nvidia, Intel, and Amazon are some of the biggest names to have halt their attendance in recent days.

Meanwhile, other tech firms have been monitoring the health crisis, with some deciding to pull out of MWC as they assess the risk it would have on their staff. While plenty had backed out altogether, some had instead scaled back their presence in the event. Huawei, for example, said it would send its European staff to the Spanish capital of Barcelona to cover for stranded Chinese employees.

Source: CNBC