GSM Association cancels Mobile World Congress 2020 over Coronavirus Concerns

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MWC, the largest mobile event in the world, has been cancelled due to Coronavirus concerns. In a statement, GSMA CEO John Hoffman said, “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 announcement comes after more than a dozen major tech companies had already pulled out of MWC 2020 over the weekend over the Coronavirus fear.

MWC was due to take place from Feb. 24 to Feb. 27. GSMA had stepped up sanitary precautions to reassure visitors — advising against handshakes, introducing body temperature scanners and a protocol for changing microphones, and restricting entry to recent arrivals from China.​

LG Electronics, NTT, Intel, Amazon (AMZN), Ericsson (ERIC) and Sony (SNE) had already withdrawn from this year’s Mobile World Congress because of the risk that attendees could catch the coronavirus that originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

The annual Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade show is held in Barcelona for three days every February, and it typically attracts over 100,000 people from over 200 countries. MWC is organised by the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA), which represents mobile operators around the world.

The event helps to connect mobile network operators with device makers, software companies, internet companies and equipment providers, and to showcase new technologies and products to potential customers.