Technology 2 min read

Annual Smartphone Trade Show Canceled Over Coronavirus Scare

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Organizers of the highly anticipated smartphone trade show Mobile World Congress has canceled the event due to coronavirus concerns.

According to Global Systems for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA), the organizer behind the annual show, MWC has been called off after major exhibitors and companies pulled out of MWC. GSMA said in its statement:

“With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has cancelled MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event.”

MWC is a yearly tech event hosted in Barcelona, Spain, since 2006. For years, the event has given startups and world-renowned mobile phone manufacturers a platform to showcase their latest smartphone products and other gadgets.

Last year, MWC made headlines when Samsung, Huawei, Google, and other giants in the mobile industry unveiled the first foldable and 5G-supported smartphones. Unfortunately, while 5G devices made significant progress, foldable phones have never really managed to take off.

Cancellation of Barcelona Smartphone Trade Show

Some of the major exhibitors who earlier announced their non-participation in this year’s MWC were Sony, LG, Ericsson, Amazon, Nokia, Facebook, and Vivo. The companies cited the health risk associated with the highly contagious Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) as a reason for pulling out of the event.

The outbreak of COVID-19, previously known as novel coronavirus 2019, has caused a huge setback for many companies around the world. The virus, which reportedly originated in Wuhan, a city in the Hubei province of China, already infected over 60,000 people worldwide.

Ninety-nine percent or 59,810 of coronavirus cases are from Wuhan. As of writing, around 1,300 people have already died from the said infectious disease.

Researchers from China and other countries like the United States and Australia are still working on a vaccine to stop the virus from spreading.

Since January of this year, the World Health Organization has released a series of preventive guidelines and travel advisories to keep the virus from spreading in other parts of the world. The organization has also advised companies and organizers to postpone hosting large events as a precautionary measure.

There’s no news of GSMA re-scheduling MWC anytime this year. It is expected that more international events will be called off in the following weeks amid the coronavirus scare.

Read More: Scientist Claim Salty Mask Could Fight Coronavirus

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Chelle is the Product Management Lead at INK. She's an experienced SEO professional as well as UX researcher and designer. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with her family and friends.

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