Will MWC be canceled? Organizers meet on Friday as more companies drop out

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

The list of tech firms dropping out of MWC is growing by the day. It started with LG and Ericsson before Nvidia, Sony, Amazon, Intel, Vivo, and many other companies followed suit.

In a statement earlier this week, GSMA assured the 2,800 exhibitors that the show would go ahead as planned, but we’ve since had confirmation that other big names won’t be attending. Facebook, Nokia, Royole, Cisco, McAfee, AT&T, and Sprint won't be participating, and more will doubtlessly drop out before the February 24 start date in Barcelona.

Canceling an appearance is proving costly for smaller firms. Israel/New York-based software startup Lightico told the BBC it expected to lose the $15,000 it had invested in its place at the event by not attending, though it will have a “virtual booth.”

Spanish publication El Pais writes that GSMA will meet this Friday to decide its next steps, which could include suspending the event. It adds that Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom are also considering skipping the show.

According to Wired, GSMA is pleading with the Spanish government to declare a health emergency, which would allow it to cancel the world's biggest phone show. Its sources say a decision on whether the event will go ahead could arrive as soon as today.

Canceling MWC would be a massive decision, leaving the 100,000+ attendees dealing with potentially non-refundable flights and hotel bookings.

GSMA has announced new precautions to protect against the spread of the coronavirus. These include banning all travelers from the Hubei province and temperature screening.

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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
Considering the severity of the virus that participants coming from all over the world a cancellation might be a very wise idea. Perhaps better to put together a video that features each participants products or a package where the viewer can select which they would want to see. Cheaper, faster, zero contact with infected persons .... sounds like a reasonable substitute for this years event.
 

nismo91

TS Evangelist
Wait a minute... aren't most of the new techs are gonna be "made in china"? China itself is facing a serious national emergency right now, so what's the rush?

just cancel it now so people can start getting refund on their flight and accommodation.
 

cliffordcooley

TS Redneck
Canceling MWC would be a massive decision, leaving the 100,000+ attendees dealing with potentially non-refundable flights and hotel bookings.
Under the conditions of the cancellations, that should not be the case.