The Mobile World Congress or MWC 2020, scheduled to take place this month, might be completely canceled. Although the local Barcelona media has been attempting to address the rising concerns about the health hazard, the GSM Association or GSMA has reportedly accepted the possibility that they might have to completely cancel the MWC 2020.
MWC 2020 might not take place this year, implied a few leading local publications. The doubt was expressed after GSMA reportedly indicated it was assessing the viability of holding the international event surrounding the latest smartphones, telecommunications, and mobility hardware. If indeed the GSMA decides to cancel MWC 2020, it wouldn’t make a huge difference primarily because the majority of big tech companies, who are always the center stage of the event, have decided to back out citing concerns about the Coronavirus.
Will MWC 2020 Be Cancelled This Year?
There is a very high possibility of the Mobile World Congress or MWC to be scrapped this year. The event has been significantly overshadowed by the rising concerns about the Coronavirus epidemic that has engulfed China.
According to a report from the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia, GSMA will reportedly meet on Friday to decide if it should push forward with its MWC 2020 plans. The GSMA attempted to reassure the people that there will be several stringent health and safety measures.
“In addition to all of the health and safety measures put in place, the Spanish health authorities, Host City Partners, other relevant agencies and the GSMA are collaborating. The GSMA is seeking to reassure attendees and exhibitors that their health and safety are our paramount concern, by the following additional measures being put in place….”
Aplazar el #MWC2020 seria una decisión acertada para evitar que se siembre la transmisión local de nCoV en BCN.
Una sola introducción de nCoV tendría una probabilidad del 20-30% de causar un brote. Abro hilo. pic.twitter.com/F4I0vqDrYu
— Oriol Mitja (@oriolmitja) February 10, 2020
Some of the preventive measures include temperature screening, as well as more drastic policies for attendees coming from China. However, the event is expected to be attended by 5,000 to 6,000 Chinese employees of leading smartphone and telecommunications companies. Local policymakers and advocates of public health have been quite vocal about the dangers of transmission in the confined spaces of the venue. Despite the best preventive measures, a single introduction would certainly have a very high probability of spreading the infection in the crowded event.
The chances of cancellation of the event are quite high owing to the backing out by most of the big tech companies. To date, over 20 companies announced that they were skipping MWC this year, and the list keeps rising each day. Some of the big names that matter to the MWC are Amazon, NVIDIA, Intel, Mediatek, ZTE, LG, Ericsson, Sony, TCL, Vivo, and others.
All the above-mentioned companies have gradually pulled back from MWC 2020. Microsoft had earlier indicated that it will have a booth at MWC and also hold a press conference on Sunday, February 23. The company has yet to announce any change in plans. It is quite likely that more companies may withdraw from MWC this week. This would further compel the GSMA about canceling the event.