Citing concerns over the growing outbreak of the novel Coronavirus, GSMA — organizers of Mobile World Congress — has officially cancelled the annual tech conference that was supposed to be held in Barcelona, Spain.
GSMA CEO Jeff Hoffman said in an emailed statement that the outbreak has made it “impossible” to hold the event as planned.
Several brands and exhibitors had already pulled out of the show with Nokia owner HMD Global being the latest one to announce that it will no longer participate in the show. Brands like Sony, OPPO, and others will likely push through with announcements of their new devices or tech albeit only via livestream.
The GSMA had stringent measures ready including banning delegates from Hubei province — the origin of the virus. There was also going to be a “no handshake” policy implemented at the conference on top of other strict measures to ensure everyone’s safety.
The Novel Coronavirus
State-owned media Global Times reports that the death toll has now passed 1,000, reaching 1,018. There have been 108 more deaths and 2,478 new confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Chinese mainland, with the numbers infected now 42,648 on Mainland China and 43,112 globally as of Tuesday. The inflection point of the coronavirus outbreak cannot be predicted, but it may peak in mid-or late-February, according to China’s top epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan.
As general rules, the CDC or The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed these to help with preventing the spread of COVID-19:
- Stay home when sick
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Frequently wash hands with soap and water
- Clean frequently touched surfaces
Huawei, Honor to hold press conference despite MWC cancellation
Expect new products
MWC 2020 may have been officially canceled, but that won’t stop Huawei and Honor from holding their press conferences in Barcelona next week.
According to Android Authority, Honor has released press invites to a conference happening at Barcelona. The conference will take place on February 24. The company will also live-stream the event for those who can’t attend. Also, the press invite indicated a demo area for new products launching at that date.
Huawei’ situation is also similar. The company has confirmed a “virtual livestream” to PhoneArena taking place also on February 24 at Barcelona’s Italian Pavillion. It seems that there will be new products launching with the conference too, as the company confirmed a demo area.
We can expect Huawei and Honor to unveil new products ranging from smartphones to smatwatches. Both companies are typically busy during this time of the year. However, fans of the beloved Huawei P series may have to temper their expectation since the P40 might not launch until early March.
GSMA to decide if MWC 2020 will go on
Blame the Coronavirus outbreak
Various tech companies have officially backed out of this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) due to the ongoing Coronavirus (now officially termed as Covid-19) outbreak. Due to these cancellations, GSMA — the main organizer of MWC — will meet this Friday to announce the fate of the annual gathering.
In a report by the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia, there will be a meeting in Barcelona this Friday to decide the fate of MWC 2020. The biggest concern for the continuation of the conference is the safety of attendees from the virus outbreak. After all, MWC boasts a hundred thousand attendees every year.
In the meantime, preparations for the MWC 2020 are still in full swing. Safety measures are already in place at the event grounds. Should the MWC 2020 continue, however, there will be lesser attendees and keynote presentations due to cancellations.
As such, MWC 2020 is looking to be a bleak gathering, whether it continues or not. Left and right cancellations, along with fear of virus spread, make the prospects of the event slim.
Vivo withdraws from Mobile World Congress 2020
Another company pulls out!
Mobile World Congress — one of the most important smartphone events in the world — isn’t going to be the same this year. Usual exhibitors pulled out from the show to prevent risks posed by the Novel Coronavirus outbreak.
Following ZTE and LG Electronics, Chinese smartphone brand Vivo decided to withdraw from the event. The company is prioritizing the health and safety of its employees and the public.
In a statement sent to GadgetMatch, the company said, “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.”
Vivo is planning to showcase the APEX 2020 concept phone at MWC. However, due to the outbreak, the company decides to set it for later — without a definitive date yet.
Meanwhile, the Mobile World Congress’ organizers are on high alert, applying strict health and security measures for the event. Despite the continuous pullouts, the Mobile World Congress will still proceed as planned. The Mobile World Congress will happen on February 24-27, 2020.
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