Mobile World Congress, Barcelona is the biggest trade show for mobiles, but the looming spectre of the spreading Coronavirus is affecting attendance at the show with ZTE cancelling their press event overnight, and LG pulling out of attending the show altogether.
ZTE has confirmed their press event has been cancelled at MWC, with a representative telling The Verge, that the cancellation is partly due to ‘practical issues like travel and visa delays’, though they also said ‘We tend to be an overly courteous company, and simply don’t want to make people uncomfortable.’
At the moment ZTE has simply cancelled their press event, LG however has advised they will not be exhibiting or participating at MWC this year, citing the risk of Coronavirus as the reason for cancelling their attendance at the show. LG said:
With the safety of its employees and general public foremost in mind, LG has decided to withdraw from exhibiting and participating in MWC 2020 later this month in Barcelona, Spain. This decision will prevent needlessly exposing hundreds of LG employees to international travel, which most health experts have advised.
MWC has traditionally been the launchpad for an LG flagship phone, and while that will no longer be at Mobile World Congress, LG says that they will hold ‘separate events in the near future to announce its 2020 mobile products’.
The GSMA who runs Mobile World Congress issued a statement regarding Coronavirus and Mobile World Congress this morning saying that there is ‘minimal impact on the event thus far’. The statement also included steps the GSMA were taking during the event to minimise the potential risks.
At this stage no other vendors have announced they are pulling out of the event, but we are two weeks out from the start of the show, which runs from the 24-27th of February, so anything is possible.