Nokia, Facebook, Cisco and AT&T are the latest tech giants to cancel their participation in this year's Mobile World Congress due to fears of contagion with the Coronavirus. The four companies join the number of confirmed dropouts in the past few days, which include LG, Ericsson, Nvidia, Amazon and Sony, Intel, Vivo and NTT DoCoMo. In all, there are already 35 companies that will not participate in the technological fair in Barcelona.
Concerns about the safety and well-being of employees, partners and customers are the justification presented by the four technological companies in international press releases. Although we are extremely disappointed that we are unable to participate in the event as we planned, we believe this is the most correct decision under the circumstances, said a spokeswoman for Cisco. On its website, Nokia indicates that it has taken a similar approach to Sony, as it has planned a series of live streams to make the public aware of the launches it had planned for the MWC2020.
The increasing number of dropouts is putting the realization of MWC 2020 at risk and the pressure for the GSMA to make a decision regarding the direction of the technological fair is increasing. According to the Spanish press, the organization of the event has called an emergency meeting of the council for the next 14th of February, in which the cancellation of the fair is one of the proposals to be discussed, advances Reuters.
Catalonia's regional government, Generalitat, is also working in collaboration with GMSA. In an interview with TV3, Alba Vergs, Catalan regional health advisor, said that the region is more prepared than ever, indicating to companies that are afraid to participate in the technological fair that there is no reason to be afraid.
Concerns about the Coronavirus outbreak have also led companies like Samsung to reduce its presence at the fair and technology such as ZTE and TCL to cancel the press conferences they had planned for MWC 2020. To date, the three manufacturers maintain their I decided to exhibit and participate in the event organized by the GSMA, as well as Huawei and Xiaomi.
If the event takes place, the GSMA will take more precautions in addition to the previously announced set of preventive measures. The entry of participants from the province of Hubei to the event is not allowed, and a decision may have an impact on the participation of companies such as Lenovo, aXiaomi, Siemens or SchneiderElectric, which have representation in the Chinese region. The GSMA also indicated that all individuals who have been to China will have to provide proof of how they left the country at least 14 days before the event.
Editorial note: The news was updated with information on the number of companies that canceled their participation in the event. (latest update: 11:35 am)