What just happened? The Coronavirus outbreak is continuing to affect the tech industry. LG Electronics has announced it won’t be attending this year’s Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona, Spain. The news comes just after ZTE said it was canceling its MWC press conference, but the company backpedaled, later tweeting that it would be participating in the event as planned.
In a statement on the company’s website, LG wrote that instead of attending MWC, it would be holding separate events in the near future to announce its 2020 products.
“With the safety of its employees, partners and customers foremost in mind, LG has decided to withdraw from exhibiting and participating in MWC 2020 later this month in Barcelona, Spain. This decision removes the risk of exposing hundreds of LG employees to international travel which has already become more restrictive as the virus continues to spread across borders,” reads the post.
The Verge reported that ZTE confirmed it was canceling its MWC press conference, blaming travel delays, visa issues, and because “[we] tend to be an overly courteous company, and simply don’t want to make people uncomfortable.” But the Chinese phone giant later tweeted that it would be at the expo and was adopting a series of safety measures.
#ZTE will participate in #MWC20 Barcelona as planned, showcasing comprehensive #5G end-to-end solutions and a wide variety of 5G devices. ZTE's booth is in 3F30, Hall 3, FIRA GRAN VIA. pic.twitter.com/vB9S4IpyZP— ZTE Corporation (@ZTEPress) February 5, 2020
MWC organizer GSMA says this year’s show “will proceed as planned” and that the Coronavirus has had “minimal impact on the event thus far.” To help prevent the spread of the virus, all attendees have been advised to adopt a ‘no-handshake policy.’ An increased cleaning and disinfecting program across high-volume touchpoints has also been introduced, among other measures.