Major tech brands have decided to skip the upcoming MWC 2020 tech exhibition that will be held between February 24th and 27th in Barcelona, Spain. Now that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the new Coronavirus strain i.e 2019-nCoV as a public health emergency, companies do not want their employees, customers and investors to encounter health issues. LG and Ericsson were one of the first major brands to confirm their withdrawal from MWC 2020. Some of the other major brands that have decided to cancel their events at MWC 2020 include Amazon, Sony, Intel, Vivo, Nvidia and TCL.
Brands that have withdrawn from MWC 2020
Amazon has released an official statement for its decision on withdrawing from MWC 2020. It reads, “Due to the outbreak and continued concerns about novel coronavirus, Amazon will withdraw from exhibiting and participating in Mobile World Congress 2020, scheduled for February 24th-27th in Barcelona, Spain.” Reuters had reported that Amazon planned a large event at MWC to talk about AWS. Amazon is yet to confirm when it will be holding an alternate event.
LG retreated from MWC 2020 considering the health of its employees, partners and customers. The South Korean company was expected to announce the LG V60 ThinQ flagship phone and some other products at the event. The company said that it will be carrying out separate events for its 2020 mobile products in the near future.
Ericsson stated that it is pulling out of the MWC 2020 event since the health and safety of our employees, customers, and other stakeholders are its highest priority. As for Nvidia, the company said, “Given public health risks around the coronavirus, ensuring the safety of our colleagues, partners, and customers is our highest concern.”
As for Vivo, “Vivo has been closely monitoring the Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia (NCP) outbreak and continuously evaluating planned activities. The health and safety of our employees and the public are our top priority. Based on the present situation, we have decided to withdraw from our debut at MWC 2020 and other related events later this month in Barcelona, Spain”, the brand said in a statement. “We will soon introduce the APEX 2020 concept phone which we had originally planned to showcase at MWC. We will share more updates in due course. We apologize for any inconvenience caused and would like to thank our partners, media friends and consumers for their understanding,” Vivo added further.
An Intel spokesperson said, “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.” Intel is still expected to make some sort of announcements on new products.
Sony released a brief statement that read, “As we place the utmost importance on the safety and wellbeing of our customers, partners, media and employees, we have taken the difficult decision to withdraw from exhibiting and participating at MWC 2020 in Barcelona, Spain.”
Shenzhen-based TCL said, “Given the recent global health concerns due to the spread of the 2019-nCoV virus, and out of an abundance of caution and care for our staff, customers, press and other guests, TCL Communication is cancelling its global press event for MWC 2020, which was planned for 22 February 2020.” The brand confirmed that it will still have its booth running at the MWC 2020.
Qualcomm, Lenovo, Motorola, Samsung, Huawei, Honor, Xiaomi, OPPO, Realme, Vivo, Nokia, ZTE and Nubia will be present at the MWC 2020. Like TCL, some of these brands may not hold launch events, but will only demonstrate their new products at the tech trade show.
Coronavirus preventive measures at MWC 2020
For the safety of attendees and exhibitors, GSMA that carries out the MWC 2020 event each year will be following certain measures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. Travellers from Hubei which is the epicentre of the Coronavirus outbreak will not be allowed to access the event. People from other countries who plan to MWC will have to produce proof that they been outside of China 14 days before the event. Temperature screening, increased cleaning and disinfection, doubled onsite medical support, awareness campaign and no-handshake policy are some of the other preventive measures that will be conducted at the MWC 2020.