Feb 12, 2020 - Technology

Mobile World Congress canceled amid Coronavirus concerns

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.

Details:

  • 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.

Go deeper

Cisco, Facebook and Intel also pull out of Mobile World Congress

Photo: Pau Barrena/AFP via Getty Images

More large companies are skipping Mobile World Congress amid concerns over the coronavirus outbreak. Among the latest to pull out are AT&T, BT, Cisco, Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, Intel, Nokia and Vodafone, who join Ericsson, Sony and LG among large companies pulling out of the annual Barcelona trade show.

Why it matters: MWC is the traditional gathering place of mobile companies from all over the world — and that's the concern.

Ericsson pulls out of Mobile World Congress amid virus concerns

Ericsson

In the latest blow to the upcoming Mobile World Congress, Ericsson said Friday it is pulling out of the trade show amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Korean phone maker LG already pulled out and China's ZTE cancelled a press conference, raising the question of whether others will cancel plans.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 8, 2020 - Technology

ZTE, LG drop conference plans over coronavirus concerns

The LG pavilion during the Mobile World Congress in 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. Photo: Joan Cros/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Two major telecom players — Korea's LG and China's ZTE — are scaling back their presence at the upcoming Mobile World Congress out of concerns related to the coronavirus outbreak.

Why it matters: Mobile World Congress, held at the end of February in Barcelona, is the key trade show for the cell phone industry, and its selling point is the way it brings a very global industry together in one place.