3. Even more companies to skip Mobile World Congress
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.
The board of the GSMA, the trade group that puts on Mobile World Congress, plans to meet Friday to discuss the impact of all of the departures, according to Bloomberg.
The group has already implemented a number of new safety precautions, including rules on who from China can attend.
What they're saying:
- Facebook: "Out of an abundance of caution, Facebook employees won't be attending this year's Mobile World Congress due to the evolving public health risks related to coronavirus. We will continue to collaborate with the GSMA and our partners and thank them for their efforts."
- Intel: "The safety and wellbeing of all our employees and partners is our top priority, and we have withdrawn from this year's Mobile World Congress out of an abundance of caution. We are grateful to the GSMA for their understanding and look forward to attending and supporting future Mobile World Congress events."
- Cisco: "We have made the difficult decision to withdraw from participating in Mobile World Congress ... due to concerns about the current outbreak of Coronavirus."
Our thought bubble: Once Ericsson — one of the largest exhibitors — announced plans to withdraw, it gave everyone else cover to do so as well.