Huawei, along with other Chinese smartphone makers, is rushing to ensure its participation in the world’s biggest mobile technology event later this month as the coronavirus outbreak triggers travel bans that leave China increasingly isolated.
According to a new report from Reuters, the Chinese telecom company has instructed employees who have been based in Hubei Province to remain isolated for 14 days, while those based in other parts of China have been instructed to remain inside for seven days.
A Huawei spokesperson said individuals suspected to have contracted the disease will not be permitted to travel to Barcelona for this year’s MWC, which attracts nearly 100,000 to the city and takes place between February 24 and 27.
The Huawei official, however, called for calm amid an environment of “unproportionate hysteria” in response to the outbreak, which has infected more than 20,000 people in China. So far, there have been close to 500 deaths from the virus.
Huawei, which has more than 12,000 staff in Europe, said that employees who have not been in China or had contact with those who have will take a “much more prominent role” in all MWC events.
The MWC show typically attracts participants from all over the world, including major Chinese companies like Huawei, Xiaomi, and ZTE, among others.
So far ZTE and device giant LG Electronics have already cancelled some plans for this year’s event. ZTE confirmed Tuesday that it’s cancelling its MWC 2020 press conference over secondary impacts from the virus outbreak, while LG said it’s withdrawing from both participation and exhibition at the show out of safety for employees and the general public