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Mobile World Congress canceled after coronavirus outbreak makes conference ‘impossible’ – CNBC

Mobile World Congress canceled after coronavirus outbreak makes conference ‘impossible’ – CNBC

Intel logo exhibited during the Mobile World Congress, on February 28, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain.

Joan Cros | NurPhoto | Getty Images

Mobile World Congress (MWC), the world’s largest trade show for the mobile phone industry, has been canceled amid fears over the coronavirus outbreak.

The organizers behind the Barcelona-based event, GSMA, announced Wednesday it would no longer be holding MWC due to ongoing concerns over the spread of a new strain of coronavirus which originated in China.

“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,” GSMA said in a statement.

Multiple firms had pulled out of the tech conference prior to the GSMA’s decision, putting pressure on the hosts to drop the event. LG, Sony, Ericsson, Nokia, Nvidia, Intel and Amazon are some of the biggest names to have suspended their attendance in recent days.

Various tech firms have been monitoring the health crisis, with some deciding to pull out of MWC as they assess the risk it would have on their staff. While plenty had backed out altogether, some had instead scaled back their presence. Huawei, for example, said it would send its European staff to Barcelona to cover for stranded Chinese employees.

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