Mobile World Congress has been canceled. The current outbreak of coronavirus has forced the GSMA organizer to disconnect the technology program, which was scheduled to take place from February 24 to 27.
“The GSMA has canceled the MWC Barcelona 2020 because global concern regarding the outbreak of coronavirus, travel concerns and other circumstances make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event,” the association said Wednesday.
Mobile World Congress was expected to attract more than 100,000 attendees from around the world. However, the outbreak of coronavirus and the fear that the disease would spread through the venue of the show led many of the leading providers of electronic products, including LG, Amazon, Intel, and Nvidia, to cancel their assistance.
Initially, the GSMA remained committed to organizing the annual technology show, despite cancellations. But by Wednesday, up to 16 major technology companies and mobile phone operators had declared that they would withdraw from the program, citing the coronavirus and travel restrictions to contain the outbreak.
In today’s announcement, the GSMA also said it wanted to keep Barcelona, the host city of the CMM, safe from the disease. So far, Spain has only reported two confirmed cases of coronavirus. However, the disease continues to spread, mainly in China, where it made more than 44,000 people sick and killed more than 1,000.
Furthermore, GSMA the commercial group that organizes the Mobile World Congress, said last week, before the big names began to leave the program, that there was “a minimal impact on the event so far” and that the event was developing as planned. “Spain, the city of Barcelona and the GSMA hope to welcome attendees to the MWC Barcelona 2020,” the group said.
On Sunday, GSMA reiterated that it was moving forward with the CMM, but that it was implementing additional and strict health measures to reassure attendees and exhibitors that their health and safety were “of paramount importance.”
These measures included the banning of any traveler from the Chinese province of Hubei, where the outbreak of the coronavirus began and requiring attendees who had passed through China to show evidence that they had been out of the country for 14 days.