Coronavirus and MWC: Which vital brands have pulled out of a world’s biggest phone event?


The biggest smartphone eventuality of a year, Mobile World Congress (MWC), is set to take place in Barcelona this month, though a conflict and widespread of novel coronavirus has expel a dim shade − and copiousness of doubt − over proceedings.

If a turn of regard in a tech village around a widespread of a pathogen was high before, it went adult a nick after LG, that traditionally has an huge appearance during a show, forsaken out on Feb 4, and a GSMA, that organises MWC, subsequently suggested attendees − there were some-more than 100,000 of them final year − to not shake hands with anybody during a event, that strictly runs from Feb 24 to Feb 27 though will indeed flog off a day or dual earlier.

This aria of coronavirus originated in Wuhan, and it has widespread fast opposite mainland China. Though some-more cases are being rescued and reported around a world, a infection count outward China is still low.

At a time of publication, Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus tracker says there have been 44,685 reliable cases in mainland China, followed by 50 in Hong Kong, 47 in Singapore, 33 in Thailand, 28 in South Korea, 28 in Japan, 18 in Taiwan, 18 in Malaysia, 16 in Germany and 15 in Australia.

The World Health Organization has strictly announced a novel coronavirus conflict to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, though it has not endorsed any transport or trade restrictions yet.

However, as timings go this is a terrible impulse for a vital general gathering to take place. From experience, it’s not surprising for myself or my colleagues to come down with something after attending a trade uncover like MWC, and fears that coronavirus could widespread by MWC unequivocally fast are wholly legitimate.

Unfortunately, a sadly predicted stink of xenophobia that has phony a coronavirus conflict from a opening means there’s been a still expectancy for a brands from Asia to clear their appearance during a uncover and explain what precautions their representatives are taking, some-more than any others.

Several of a world’s biggest smartphone brands, of course, are formed in China (Huawei, Oppo, OnePlus, Xiaomi, ZTE), South Korea (LG, Samsung), and Japan (Sony).

Read on to see what a vital brands that were approaching to attend MWC have pronounced brazen of a event. The list subsequent is not exhaustive, though we’ve finished a best to embody a heavyweights of a show.


As mentioned above, LG has motionless not to attend MWC 2020.

“With a reserve of a employees, partners and business inaugural in mind, LG has motionless to repel from exhibiting and participating in MWC 2020 after this month in Barcelona, Spain,” a association announced on Feb 4.

“This preference removes a risk of exposing hundreds of LG employees to general transport that has already turn some-more limiting as a pathogen continues to widespread opposite borders.”


Swedish telecoms hulk Ericsson pulled out shortly after.

“The health and reserve of a employees, business and other stakeholders are a tip priority. This is not a preference we have taken lightly,” pronounced Börje Ekholm, a boss and CEO of Ericsson, on Feb 7.

“We were looking brazen to showcasing a latest innovations during MWC in Barcelona. It is unequivocally unfortunate, though we strongly trust a many obliged business preference is to repel a appearance from this year’s event.”


There was primarily some difficulty around ZTE’s involvement, though a association has simplified that it will attend a show. However, it has cancelled a press conference.

“To clarify, ZTE will attend in MWC 2020 as planned, showcasing extensive 5G end-to-end solutions and a far-reaching accumulation of 5G devices,” a orator for ZTE told Trusted Reviews.

“ZTE’s counter during MWC 2020 is in 3F30, Hall 3, FIRA GRAN VIA. The ZTE Devices press discussion scheduled on Feb 25, that is only one of mixed designed activities, was cancelled. A far-reaching accumulation of new 5G inclination will still be demonstrated during a ZTE counter during MWC 2020 as planned.”


Huawei has pronounced that it still skeleton to attend MWC 2020.

“MWC Barcelona 2020 starts on Feb 24, and Huawei will attend as planned,” a Huawei orator told Trusted Reviews on Feb 6.

“Huawei will work with GSMA and a internal supervision on surety measures to assistance enclose a widespread of a 2019-nCoV virus. The health and reserve of a employees and other attendees is a tip priority for this event.”


Nvidia, another association that tends to have a poignant appearance during a show, has also forsaken out.

“We’ve sensitive GSMA, a organizers of MWC Barcelona, that we won’t be promulgation a employees to this year’s event,” Nvidia announced on Feb 7.

“Given open health risks around a coronavirus, ensuring a reserve of a colleagues, partners and business is a tip concern.

“MWC Barcelona is one of a world’s many critical record conferences. We’ve been looking brazen to pity a work in AI, 5G and vRAN with a industry. We bewail not attending, though trust this is a right decision.”


Sony’s MWC press discussion traditionally takes place right during a start of a initial central day of a conference, though that will not be a box this year. It will, however, still go brazen − presumably not in Barcelona − and you’ll be means balance in around YouTube.

“Sony has been closely monitoring a elaborating conditions following a novel coronavirus outbreak, that was announced a tellurian puncture by a World Health Organization on Jan 30th, 2020,” Sony announced on Feb 10.

“As we place a pinnacle significance on a reserve and wellbeing of a customers, partners, media and employees, we have taken a formidable preference to repel from exhibiting and participating during MWC 2020 in Barcelona, Spain.

“The Sony press discussion will now instead take place during a scheduled time of 8:30am (CET) on Feb 24, 2020 as a video around a central Xperia YouTube channel to share a sparkling product news.”


Amazon isn’t unequivocally one of a categorical players during MWC but, as one of a world’s biggest tech companies, a withdrawal from a uncover is significant.

“Due to a conflict and continued concerns about novel coronavirus, Amazon will repel from exhibiting and participating in Mobile World Congress 2020, scheduled for Feb. 24-27 in Barcelona, Spain,” an Amazon orator told TechCrunch on Feb 10.


“The reserve and wellbeing of all a employees and partners is a tip priority, and we have cold from this year’s Mobile World Congress out of an contentment of caution,” a orator for Intel told VentureBeat on Feb 10.

“We are beholden to a GSMA for their bargain and demeanour brazen to attending and ancillary destiny Mobile World Congress events.”


TCL Communications, that has been designing, offered and production BlackBerry inclination given Dec 2016 (but not for most longer), has cancelled a MWC press conference, though it will still launch and showcase a newest products during a show.


“Vivo has been closely monitoring a Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia (NCP) conflict and invariably evaluating designed activities,” Vivo pronounced in an central matter expelled on Feb 11.

“The health and reserve of a employees and a open are a tip priority. Based on a benefaction situation, we have motionless to repel from a entrance during MWC 2020 and other associated events after this month in Barcelona, Spain.”

It added: “We will deliver a APEX 2020 judgment phone that we had creatively designed to showcase during MWC soon. We will share some-more updates in due course.

“We apologize for any nuisance caused and would like to appreciate a partners, media friends and consumers for their understanding.”


Nokia, that was approaching to betray a new flagship smartphone during MWC, has also pulled out of a event.

“Nokia has been delicately monitoring a conditions following a conflict of a novel coronavirus, with a idea of creation a fact-based preference associated to a assemblage during Mobile World Congress in 2020,” Nokia announced on Feb 12.

“While a health and reserve of a employees is a comprehensive priority, we also commend that we have a shortcoming to a attention and a customers. In perspective of this, we have taken a required time to weigh a fast-moving situation, rivet with a GSMA and other stakeholders, frequently deliberate outmost experts and authorities, and devise to conduct risks formed on a far-reaching operation of scenarios.

“The end of that routine is that we trust a advantageous preference is to cancel a appearance during Mobile World Congress.”


The GSMA, that organises MWC, has not pulled a block on a eventuality yet, though it will reportedly make a final preference on Friday, Feb 14.

“Today, a GSMA is relocating brazen as designed and will horde MWC Barcelona 24-27 Feb 2020,” a GSMA announced on Feb 9.

“While a GSMA endorse some vast exhibitors have motionless not to come to a uncover this year with others still considering subsequent steps, we sojourn some-more than 2,800 exhibitors strong.”

It has, however, announced a list of reserve measures, including a no-handshakes policy, a accessibility of sanitising and disinfection materials for open use, and heat checks. The full list of reserve measures is accessible to perspective here.

This essay will be updated as a conditions develops.

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