Annual Smartphone Trade Show Canceled Over Coronavirus Scare

  • Annual Smartphone Trade Show Canceled Over Coronavirus Scare

Annual Smartphone Trade Show Canceled Over Coronavirus Scare

While the majority of cases of the virus have been in China, it has now spread to 25 countries, and with over 100,000 people from 200 countries expected to attend the event GSMA chose to pull the plug. The ongoing coronavirus outbreak has forced organizer GSMA to pull the plug on the tech show, which was scheduled to be held February 24 to 27.

Nokia, one of the omnipresent firms at major tech trade conferences, won't be attending this year's Mobile World Congress, it said Wednesday citing health and safety concerns over coronavirus outbreak.

It adds that "the Host City Parties respect and understand this decision".

The Mobile World Congress cancelation comes as business consideration is concentrated on carriers' race to improve networks to 5G, the following era of excessive-pace wireless, and as governments grapple with strain from the U.S. authorities to ban gear made by Chinese telecom large Huawei.

According to a report from La Vanguardia, GSMA, which organizes the mobile conference, will make a decision on whether to cancel this year's MWC on Friday, with an announcement in this regard expected just before the weekend.

The GSMA has yet to comment on future events, but it looks unlikely that it will be rescheduling the show at a later date considering the organizer's main statement. These four companies are arguably the backbone of MWC and a decision on their part to pull out would be catastrophic. With so many cancelations, MWC 2020's fate has been in question over the past couple of days. A Xiaomi spokesman did not say whether the Barcelona launch will be canceled or delayed.

"Where there is no prohibition and companies make their own commercial decision, I can not see that the market is paying", said Edel Ryan, who is on the Special Risks team at the Marsh JLT Specialty corridor, before the GSMA decision.

GSMA funds much of its budget from the event, charging 799 euros ($872) for a basic admissions pass.

Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau, in turn, said that the city was fully prepared for the event and that the cancellation would negatively affect the Catalan capital.