The GSM Association (GSMA), the organizers of the annual mobile communications industry trade show Mobile World Congress (MWC) has announced the cancellation of MWC 2020 due to the ongoing coronavirus scare in China. The decision to cancel the show came after a number of participants pulled out from the show citing health concerns. Among the companies that announced they would refrain from participating in the event includes Amazon, Nokia, LG, Mediatek, Sony, and Vodafone. Following these announcements, the GSMA took a decision to cancel this year’s event. The company issued a formal statement announcing the cancellation.
We have reproduced the statement in its entirety below.
Since the first edition of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in 2006, the GSMA has convened the industry, governments, ministers, policymakers, operators and industry leaders across the broader ecosystem.
With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has canceled 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.
The Host City Parties respect and understand this decision.
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.
Our sympathies at this time are with those affected in China, and all around the world.
This cancellation also means that several product launches scheduled around the trade show also now stand canceled. These include launches from HMD Global who were planning to launch new Nokia branded products at the show. Xiaomi had also planned to launch the Mi 10 series one day before the show started. It remains unclear as to how these companies plan to reschedule these events. In China, several companies have decided to do an “online-only” launch where people can watch the live stream of an event from the comfort and safety of their homes.