Threatened by Coronavirus at Mobile World Congress, Sony is Also Dropping Out. More and more companies are ignoring the 2020 edition of the Mobile World Congress, for fear of the coronavirus.
LG, Ericsson, Nvidia and Amazon have completely withdrawn in the past days and hours, ZTE will be less prominent. Samsung now also seems to consider sending a smaller delegation to MWC. The stock exchange in Barcelona, at the end of February, receives around five to six thousand Chinese people from the telecom sector every year.
The fear of contamination of staff by the coronavirus is good for some tech companies. And they are not the smallest: LG, Ericsson and ZTE each effortlessly fill an exhibition hall of the Mobile World Congress. ZTE is coming to Barcelona for the time being, but with a smaller delegation.
The Chinese telecom company has meanwhile cancelled the usual press conference. According to CNET, Samsung would meanwhile consider a similar scenario, but that news has not yet been confirmed.
The South Korean company LG Electronics has wholly ignored the telecom fair this year.
A statement states that the company has been following the situation concerning the coronavirus outbreak, after which it was decided not to participate in the telecom event of the year: “That way we exclude the risk that hundreds LG employees can be exposed to the virus now that it is also emerging outside of China’s national borders. “
LG also misses out on two other stock exchanges due to the coronavirus. The tech giant is not present this year at Integrated Systems Europe in Amsterdam (between 11 and 14 February), and participation in the Euroshop trade fair in Düsseldorf (from 16 to 20 February) was also abandoned.
The company also announced that the planned new products would be presented at other, less large-scale events at a later date.
Ericsson is not coming either. The company, through top executive Börje Ekholm, said it was “not an easy decision”: “But the health and safety of our employees, customers and other stakeholders is our top priority. This is the most sensible choice we could make to make.”
Companies like ZTE and LG have many factories and offices in China, which has undoubtedly played an important role in the decision to stay away from Barcelona. Ericsson, on the other hand, is based in Sweden and therefore the first telecom company in Europe to drop MWC. That choice could also encourage other Western companies to skip the stock market for a year.