Mobile World Congress canceled due to coronavirus fears
A major telecom industry event in Barcelona has been canceled after high-profile companies including Ericsson, Nokia and Amazon pulled out over fears about the spread of coronavirus, its organizers announced Wednesday.
“The global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event,” John Hoffman, the CEO of global telecom operators lobby GSMA, said in a statement.
The Mobile World Congress, which was due to be held from February 24-27, draws thousands of participants from China every year, including staff members from companies like Huawei, ZTE and China Mobile. The GSMA estimates that about 5,000-6,000 attendees travel from China to attend the conference, which has more than 100,000 people attending in total.
The lobbys decision follows an announcement of Finnish equipment maker Nokia earlier Wednesday that it was canceling its participation. Swedish telecom vendor Ericsson and tech giants Amazon, Sony, LG and others confirmed in past days that they were withdrawing from the event.