The 2020 edition of the Mobile World Congress (MWC), due to take place in Barcelona from 24-27 February, has finally been cancelled following a number of major corporations pulling out due to fears about the Coronavirus epidemic.
Amazon, Sony and Facebook were the latest corporations to announce their withdrawal from the trade show, following on from Ericsson and LG – two of the first groups to cancel their participation.
Following extended meetings on Wednesday the organisers GSMA decided they would not be going ahead with this edition of the world’s biggest mobile trade show.
‘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 concerns and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event.’
The organisers have also stated that they intend to hold the event in Barcelona next year ‘and future editions.’
The Mobile World Congress normally brings over 100,000 visitors every year to Barcelona, including thousands of Chinese professionals. It has been reported that the cancellation of the trade fair will have a negative impact of some €500m on the city of Barcelona’s economy.
The virus, which began in China and has already claimed over 1,000 lives, has not yet been seen in Catalonia, but cases have been confirmed in the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands.
Up-to-date WHO advice and facts about the Coronavirus epidemic can be found here: www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance.