As usual, Barcelona hosts yet another edition of one of the biggest technology fairs, the Mobile World Congress (MWC), this year, taking place between February 24th and 27th. However, the coronavirus, recently considered a global public health emergency by the World Health Organization, has already dictated the cancellation of a major confirmation at the event: LG, and there are still other technological giants thinking about the possibilities on the table.
In the statement published this Tuesday, the South Korean company guarantees that the decision to stop exhibiting and participate in MWC 2020 aims to guarantee the "safety of its employees, partners and customers". "This choice eliminates the risk of exposing hundreds of LG employees to international travel, which is increasingly restricted as more cases of viruses appear beyond the Chinese border," the statement said. In order to ensure the presentation of its latest mobile equipment in 2020, LG has announced that it will hold separate events in the "near future".
On the same day that the South Korean company announced the decision, the GSMA, in charge of the event organization, issued a statement in which it guaranteed that the coronavirus "has a minimal impact on MWC 2020 so far" and that the event will continue as planned. However, there are reinforced measures for this year's edition, namely an increase in medical support in places and the availability of disinfectant materials for use by the general public.
In this way, the organization confirms that it is working to "protect the health of MWC 2020 participants, customers and staff". However, the truth is that the coronavirus is already having an impact on the event, with some companies changing their initial plans or even thinking about the decision they are going to make. Others, such as ZTE, have already announced that they will attend the meeting as planned.
Bloomberg has summarized some companies that have answered your questions.
There are still other American giants that are expected to participate in the event, such as Qualcomm and Alphabet. Still, there is no doubt that the spread of the Coronavirus is giving headaches to organizations and companies that do business in China. The virus, which has already killed more than a hundred people and has now spread to almost 20 countries, has been the subject of some containment decisions. Companies like Apple, Google and Amazon, among others, are preventing their employees from traveling and even returning from China.