The GSM Association, GSMA, which conducts the annual Mobile World Congress event has since announced the cancellation of the event this year. The event was scheduled to take place from February 24 to February 27. This was expected since many major companies started withdrawing one after the other. The coronavirus scare has shaken China and the entire world. This is the reason behind the cancellation of the marquee event in the mobile phone industry.
Many Companies Had Pulled Out
The list of companies that have announced that they will not be present at the MWC 2020 virtually reads like the who’s who in the mobile phone space. LG Electronics of South Korea was possibly one of the first ones to make the announcement. ZTE, which had said it will hold a press meet over MWC, canceled the press meet itself. Ericsson, the Swedish company which uses the MWC platform in a big way also withdrew from the event. These were followed by Sony, Vivo, Amazon, Intel, Nvidia and NTT Docomo.
The organizers, GSMA, would have been left with no alternative but to cancel the event, which they did. With such key participants stepping aside, the number of visitors to the event would have fallen by a huge margin. The virus scare, in any case, would have meant a number of people opting out. It cannot also be overlooked that China is a dominant force in the international mobile scene and with the coronavirus crisis assuming serious proportions, there was no way Chinese companies would have sent their delegates for the MWC 2020.
Barcelona City Could End Up being the Loser, but it was Inevitable
The statement put out by GSMA clearly refers to the Host City Parties, which basically means the Barcelona local administration authorities and says they have understood and are standing by. The risk of holding the event regardless of the coronavirus scare is that the residents of Barcelona could have been exposed to the virus. This had to be avoided and in the larger interests of the city residents and the visitors. The locals agreed that this led to the decision to cancel MWC.
More than 42,000 cases of infections of the virus have been reported. The infection was mostly in China but there are in all 25 countries from where the virus cases have been reported.