The ongoing Coronavirus epidemic has led to the cancellation of the upcoming Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2020.
The organisers of the largest mobile phone show, the GSM Association (GSMA) were put in a tight spot after companies and exhibitors pulled out from the event about a week ago.
In a statement issued by the CEO of GSMA John Hoffman, they highlighted the fact that it was virtually impossible to hold the event due to the outbreak of the coronavirus which started in Wuhan, China. The Mobile World Congress 2020 was slated to hold between February 24th and the 27th.
This is the official statement from GSMA – “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. 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.”
As at today, coronavirus has claimed the lives of over 1,000 people worldwide and over 42,000 people have been infected. The virus has been reported in over 25 countries already but is more predominantly Wuhan city in China and a surrounding province named Hubei.
This year’s MWC was set to feature all of the Chinese big phone makers. For example, Xiaomi was going to launch their newly Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro globally during the event.
It remains to be seen how the mobile phone globally market will survive this year from the cancellation of this event. The MWC generates over 14,000 part-time jobs and has an economic impact of 492 million euros.