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LG and ZTE pull out of MWC 2020 due to Coronavirus fears [Updated]

[UPDATE] Through a press release, ZTE has confirmed that it will be demonstrating new 5G devices at the MWC 2020 such as Axon 5G phone and diversified 5G MBB products like 5G CPE and 5G module. Moreover, the Chinese firm will be also announcing Blade series products at the event. The new ZTE devices will be showcased between Feb. 24 and Feb. 27 at MWC 2020.

Original story follows…

The businesses of many smartphone OEMs have been affected due to the recent Coronavirus outbreak in China. Companies like Samsung and Apple have temporarily shut down their stores in China. The production and shipments of smartphones are also likely to be affected. Now it appears that the Coronavirus outbreak has also affected the upcoming Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. Two major brands, LG and ZTE have already confirmed plans to exit from MWC this year.

The statement released by LG says that it opted to withdraw from MWC 2020 considering the health of its employees, partners and customers. Most health experts have advised avoiding international travel. LG said that it will be holding separate events in the near future to announce its 2020 mobile products.

MWC 2020 logo

A ZTE spokesperson said to The Verge that the company decided on skipping MWC due to secondary effects of the Coronavirus outbreak like travel and visa delays. Also, there has been some instances of mild xenophobia in relation to the disease against people from China. Being an overly courteous company, ZTE says that it does not want to make people uncomfortable. It is yet to be confirmed whether these companies will still have their booths running at the upcoming tech exhibition.

ZTE was expected to announce the Snapdragon 865 powered ZTE Axon 10s Pro 5G along with some Blade series phone at MWC 2020. The LG V60 ThinQ 5G and LG G9 series were speculated to go official at the tech trade. Both companies are expected to release an official statement on when they will be announcing their new smartphones.

The GSM Association (GSMA) that organizes MWC event each year has stated that it will proceed with MWC 2020 as planned. GSMA stated that it will be imposing a no hand-shake policy and aggressive hygiene measures at MWC booths. So far, the Coronavirus which had its epicenter in Wuhan, China has killed nearly 500 people and more than 24,000 people have been infected.

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