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Technology Coronavirus leads to cancellation of massive MWC mobile trade show in Barcelona

22:40  12 february  2020
22:40  12 february  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

LG Electronics is withdrawing from Mobile World Congress due to coronavirus

  LG Electronics is withdrawing from Mobile World Congress due to coronavirus The second big company to cancel its MWC appearance“With the safety of its employees and general public foremost in mind, LG has decided to withdraw from exhibiting and participating in MWC 2020 later this month in Barcelona, Spain. This decision will prevent needlessly exposing hundreds of LG employees to international travel, which most health experts have advised,” an LG spokesperson said in a statement given to The Verge. “In lieu of its participation in MWC, LG will be holding separate events in the near future to announce its 2020 mobile products.

The coronavirus has taken down one of tech’s biggest trade shows.

MWC (formerly Mobile World Congress) in Barcelona, the largest mobile trade event in the world, was canceled by its organizers on Wednesday.

"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," wrote GSMA CEO John Hoffman in a statement emailed to USA TODAY.

Ericsson withdraws from MWC 2020 over coronavirus fears

  Ericsson withdraws from MWC 2020 over coronavirus fears The telecoms company follows in the footsteps of LG in deciding not to put the health of employees at risk by attending the show."The health and safety of our employees, customers and other stakeholders are our highest priority," said President and CEO of Ericsson Börje Ekholm in a statement. "This is not a decision we have taken lightly. We were looking forward to showcasing our latest innovations at MWC in Barcelona. It is very unfortunate, but we strongly believe the most responsible business decision is to withdraw our participation from this year's event.

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MWC had been set to run from Feb 24 through Feb. 27 and draw some 100,000 attendees and more than 2400 exhibitors.

It doesn't appear likely the GSMA will attempt to reschedule the show in 2020. Hoffman's statement went on to say that "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."

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Unclear is whether the GSMA will provide resources to help attendees arrange refunds or make other travel accommodations.

The GSMA said any further updates will be provided on its website.

Sony and Amazon pull out of Mobile World Congress due to coronavirus risk

  Sony and Amazon pull out of Mobile World Congress due to coronavirus risk Trade show bans visitors who’ve recently been to China“Sony has been closely monitoring the evolving situation following the novel coronavirus outbreak, which was declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization on January 30th, 2020,” Sony says in a statement posted to its website. “As we place the utmost importance on the safety and wellbeing of our customers, partners, media and employees, we have taken the difficult decision to withdraw from exhibiting and participating at MWC 2020 in Barcelona, Spain.

The further global rollout of next generation 5G networks was to be a major theme at the show.

In the past several days, however, a number of A-list global exhibitors said they were pulling out of the event, including Amazon, Cisco, Deutsch Telekom, Ericsson, Facebook Intel, LG, Nokia, Sony and Vodafone. Several other companies such as Samsung announced they were scaling down attendance.

China’s own Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi were also among the companies still planning to exhibit.

The GSMA had hoped to salvage the show by implementing health safeguards. All travelers from the Hubei province of China were banned from attending. Travelers who were in China recently would have had to provide proof that they had been outside of the country at least 14 days prior to the event. Some attendees would have had their temperature screened. And everyone had been asked to self-certify they have not been in contact with anyone infected.

The organizers also intended to double their on-site medical support. But in the end, such efforts proved not to be enough.

Email: ebaig@usatoday.com; Follow @edbaig on Twitter

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus leads to cancellation of massive MWC mobile trade show in Barcelona

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