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MWC 2020 | The GSMA will meet to decide if the show can go on

These dates may prove much less eventful than usual. (Source: GSMA)
These dates may prove much less eventful than usual. (Source: GSMA)
The Mobile World Congress (MWC) has been inexorably rocked by a series of cancellations and withdrawals from the show. They have been made by an ever-growing list of companies, to which Intel and Vivo have most recently been added. The show's runners, the GSMA, will now meet on February 14, 2020 in order to determine the event's fate.

This year's Mobile World Congress (MWC) has faced an unavoidable level of disruption due to the increasingly severe status of the novel coronavirus epidemic. A number of OEMs and other companies have dropped out of the show due to the resulting public health concerns. Now, the Spanish news outlet El Periódico reports that the GSMA has decided to take a meeting on the subject of whether the event should be cancelled altogether.

It will take place on February 14, 2020 (or 3 days from today). Obviously, the conclusion that such a major event on the tech calendar should be pulled in its entirety will not be taken lightly. However, the risks to the numbers of attendants in an environment that would be so conducive to disease transmission may outweigh the losses to all stakeholders concerned.

To date, a number of participants and exhibitors, including Ericsson, LG and Sony, have withdrawn their MWC 2020 press conferences, show-floor presences or both. They have recently been joined by Intel, Vivo, Amazon and Royole, the latter of which had planned to unveil its second-gen FlexPai at the event. However, others such as Xiaomi, Nokia and ZTE still have intentions to showcase products at the conference (correct at time of writing).

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Deirdre O Donnell, 2020-02-11 (Update: 2020-02-11)