Feb 12, 2020 - Technology

Mobile World Congress canceled amid Coronavirus concerns

An image of people entering a past Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona

Photo: Matthias Oesterle/Corbis via Getty Images

The organizers of the giant Mobile World Congress said Wednesday that they are canceling the event, which was set to take place at the end of the month, due to the coronavirus outbreak. Many key participants in recent days said they would not be attending.

Why it matters: The Barcelona event is the major trade show for the wireless business and a key gathering point for an industry that is spread all over the globe.


  • LG had announced last week it would skip the event, but the turning point came when Ericsson announced that it was pulling out.
  • In recent days, Nokia, AT&T, Intel, Amazon, British Telecom, Facebook, Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone (among others) all said they would not be participating.

"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 CEO John Hoffman said in a statement.

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