Mobile World Congress Canceled After Coronavirus Scares Off Major Companies

GSMA to decide the fate of MWC 2020 on Friday

"The GSMA likely felt like it had no choice but to close the show after its own member companies pulled out of the event".

According to Bloomberg, the 2020 expo was officially cancelled less than an hour ago.

The Mobile World Congress (MWC) is the world's largest phone show which takes place annually.

GSMA, the conference organizer announced that was pulling the plug.

GSMA says that they plan to host MWC 2021 again in Barcelona.

However, organisers said it had become "impossible" to hold it this year due to "global concern" around the outbreak of the virus - now formally known as Covid-19.

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The city of Barcelona, which will lose a huge amount of tourist revenue due to the cancellation, respects and understands the decision, Hoffman said. "Our sympathies at this time are with those affected in China, and all around the world", said GSMA CEO John Hoffman in a recent statement.

Image credits: Header image by Kārlis Dambrāns, CC BY 2.0.

The likes of AT&T, Facebook, Amazon, Intel, Nokia, Nvidia, and Sony highlight a list of almost 50 companies that withdrew from the event.

MWC 2020 postponement is not an option. But by Wednesday, as many as 16 major tech companies and mobile carriers had declared that they would withdraw from the show, citing the coronavirus and the travel restrictions around containing the outbreak. The organization had said previously that it was banning visitors from China's Hubei province, where the epidemic is thought to have begun, as part of the safety precautions it was taking around the event. The event gives a big income boost to the Barcelona economy in the region of about half a billion Euros - particularly welcomed by the hospitality industry.

GSMA had insisted the event was still on as of early Wednesday.

2020, the mega event for the mobile and smartphone industry, has been cancelled by organizers over rising concern about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. While most global travelers will have their passports, European Union nationals are allowed to enter the event with their national identity cards, which don't include any travel stamps.

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