GSMA, the organizer of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) has announced the cancellation of this year’s event amidst the soaring Coronavirus threat. This is the world’s biggest mobile phone exhibition and was supposed to take place in Barcelona just weeks from now.
— GSMA (@GSMA) February 12, 2020
In a statement, GSM Association’s chief John Hoffman said, “With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has canceled 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. The Host City Parties respect and understand this decision. The GSMA and the Host City Parties will continue to be working in unison and supporting each other for MWC Barcelona 2021 and future editions. Our sympathies at this time are with those affected in China, and all around the world.”
The announcement comes after several brands pulled out of the event over the Coronavirus concern. The names included biggies like Nokia, LG, ZTE, Amazon, Facebook, Sony, AT&T, Cisco, Vivo, Ericson, Nvidia, Intel, and Sprint. The months of preparation by these and the rest of the companies have thus gone south due to this sudden outbreak. Analysts state an economic setback of 492 million euros and loss of about 14,100 part-time jobs.
Coronavirus has caused over 1,113 deaths and surpassed 42,000 infection cases so far. It has spread over to 25 countries.