MWC 2020: Facebook, Nokia & Others Withdraw Amid Coronavirus Scare
The Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona is one of the biggest annual tech events that plays host to numerous smartphones and technology brands. However, this year’s event is grabbing headlines for the wrong reasons, as major tech brands are backing out from participating.
Tech giants like Amazon, Nvidia, LG, ZTE, Ericsson, Sony, and even Chinese smartphone brand Vivo have withdrawn their names from this year’s MWC citing concerns over the public health risks around the coronavirus.
As of 12 February, Nokia, HMD Global, Facebook, MediaTek, Asus, Cisco, and Intel are not participating at the event.
Despite the setback, GSMA has decided to go ahead with the event, which caters to around 2,800 exhibitors as participants. The event is scheduled to take place from 24-27 February this month.
Sony said that the company is concerned about the safety of its customers, media, and employees.
Speaking to Tech Crunch, an Amazon spokesperson said: “due to the outbreak and continued concerns about novel coronavirus, Amazon will withdraw from exhibiting and participating in Mobile World Congress 2020, scheduled for Feb. 24-27 in Barcelona, Spain.”
Also Read : Coronavirus: A Battle Against Epidemic
Meanwhile, John Hoffman, CEO, GSMA has issued a statement ensuring that safety measures and proper healthcare facilities are made available in the event arena in case of an emergency.
He even mentions that travellers from the Hubei province in China will not be allowed to participate in the event.
- All travellers from the Hubei province will not be permitted access to the event
- All travellers who have been in China will need to demonstrate proof they have been outside of China in the last 14 days prior to the event.
- Temperature screening will be implemented
- Attendees will need to self-certify they have not been in contact with an infected person.
Hoffman also added that there will be a disinfectant program around the site and a strict “no handshake policy” will be adhered to at the event.
Looks like this year’s MWC is going to about the Japanese ‘Konichiwa’ bows and the customary Indian greeting ‘Namaste’.
Or maybe you can combine the two.
The vast number of people that have been affected by the coronavirus are from China.
Chinese exhibitors that participate at the MWC account for 5-6 percent of the total population at the event, so you can understand the concern of brands from other parts of the world.
Despite the assurance by GSMA, it seems that many companies are not willing to take the risk of infection against the deadly virus which has claimed the lives of more than 900 people and has infected nearly 40,000 more.
This is a developing story...
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