New Delhi: The world’s largest exhibition for mobile technology, Mobile World Congress, has been cancelled. According to a Bloomberg report, John Hoffman, CEO of the GSM Association (GSMA), which organises the event, said that it has become “impossible" to organise the event due to the coronavirus outbreak in China.
“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," the company said in an official statement.
In the past week or so, multiple big names had pulled out of the conference. Companies like Amazon, HMD Global (which makes phones under the Nokia brand name), LG, Sony and Ericsson had all announced that they would be pulling out from the conference. Samsung had said it will have a booth there, but won’t have any “important executives" present, while ZTE cancelled its press conference but was expected to have executives at the event.
The coronavirus outbreak has led to multiple lockdowns all over the world. China has shut down travel from the country, while the infection has still spread worldwide. Most recent estimates indicate that over 42,000 people have been infected by the virus, while over 1,000 people have died.
The outbreak and the subsequent lockdowns are also expected to hurt trade from China. Electronics companies in India expect major shortages in stocks and have even talked about the possibility of raising prices of electronic products in the country. At the moment, over 80% of the components required to assemble smartphones etc. in India come from China, according to experts in the field.