Mobile World Congress, the mobile industry’s largest conference, has been cancelled due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.
The GSM Association (GSMA), the organization behind the show, has confirmed the cancellation. In a recent statement, GSMA CEO John Hoffman stated that the coronavirus outbreak has made it “impossible” to hold the conference.
An excerpt from the press release outlining the cancellation can be found below:
“With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has cancelled MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event.”
MWC was scheduled to start on February 24th in Barcelona, Spain. The GSMA represents 1,200 companies around the world. MWC reportedly brings in €492 million (roughly $708 million CAD) euros to the region and creates 14,100 part-time jobs.
Coronavirus infections are believed to have suppressed 42,000, with deaths totalling 1,000. The primary region of infection is in Wuhan, China. Over 25 countries have reported cases of Coronavirus infections, including Canada.
The GSMA initially stated that MWC would continue despite concerns surrounding the coronavirus, but that it would implement additional disinfection measures and ban attendees travelling from Hubei, the province in China where the outbreak is concentrated.
Ahead of the event’s official cancellation major companies like LG, Ericsson, Intel, Vivo, Sony, Amazon and several more pulled out of MWC.