Virus Worries Forces Cancellation of Major Tech Fair in Spain

Yolanda Curtis
February 13, 2020

LG had announced last week it would skip the event, but the turning point came when Ericsson announced that it was pulling out. For years, the event has given startups and world-renowned mobile phone manufacturers a platform to showcase their latest smartphone products and other gadgets.

The conclusion of that process is that we believe the prudent decision is to cancel our participation at Mobile World Congress. The ongoing coronavirus outbreak has forced organizer GSMA to pull the plug on the tech show, which was scheduled to be held February 24 to 27.

The 2020 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain could be canceled after several major companies have already pulled out of the show due to coronavirus concerns.

Mobile World Congress 2020 has been officially canceled.

Following a series of crisis meetings on Wednesday afternoon, the industry association GSMA, organizer of the MWC, has made a decision to cancel the event completely for this year.

The GSMA has yet to comment on future events, but it looks unlikely that it will be rescheduling the show at a later date considering the organizer's main statement. Around the same time the GSMA announced enhanced measures for personal health and safety at the show. Many of these are small firms that spent large amounts of time and money preparing for the event.

MWC was cancelled on February 12, 2020, less than two weeks ahead of when the event was set to take place. As others pulled the plug - from Sony Nokia Oyj, Vodafone Group Plc and Deutsche Telekom AG - it became harder for those remaining to justify their presence. Even with MWC taking precautions such as banning attendees from the province where the coronavirus originated, it has still done little to stop the influx of cancellations.

Local paper La Vanguardia followed this by citing Barcelona mayor Ada Colau, who stated that there was "no reason whatsoever" to declare a state of emergency, and that the city was "perfectly prepared" to host the event.

"I don't think anyone in this country thinks this should happen", Antonio Huertas, chairman of Mapfre SA, Spain's biggest insurer, told reporters on Wednesday, adding that his company doesn't have significant exposure to the cancellation.

Other reports by iNewsToday