The world’s largest phone conference, Mobile World Congress, has been cancelled by the GSM Association (GSMA).
John Hoffman, CEO GSMA Limited, made the following statement today (via The Verge):
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.
Hoffman says the host city parties “respect and understand this decision”. Mobile World Congress was set to take place in Barcelona, Spain, from February 24 to 27, 2020.
“The GSMA and the Host City Parties will continue to be working in unison and supporting each other for MWC Barcelona 2021 and future editions,” added Hoffman.
Earlier this month, numerous smartphone brands started pulling out of MWC, over coronavirus health concerns for staff. LG, ZTE, Ericsson, Nvidia, Intel, Vivo, Sony, Amazon and more had cancelled attendance for the conference, which brings together thousands of companies, able to work together for new ventures and product launches.
“Our sympathies at this time are with those affected in China, and all around the world,” said the GSMA CEO.
Numerous tech companies with ties to manufacturing in China are facing uncertainty over coronavirus, Chinese citizens stay home to avoid contact with others. Apple supplier, Foxconn, said it plans to have its factories running at 50% of production by the end of February.