Home >Technology >News >ZTE, LG pull back plans for MWC 2020 amid Coronavirus scare

Chinese telecom giant ZTE and South Korea’s LG, have withdrawn from this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) to be held in Barcelona later this month, citing the Coronavirus scare.

“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," LG said in a press statement. ZTE told The Verge that the withdrawal was largely due to travel issues and visa delays due to lockdowns around the Coronavirus scare.

The Global System for Mobile Communication Association (GSMA), which organises the event, had earlier announced that MWC will go ahead as planned this year. In an updated statement issued on Tuesday, the industry body called for a ban on shaking hands during the conference.

“The GSMA is building on its existing plans to protect the health of our attendees, clients and staff at MWC Barcelona," it said. “The measures include adhering to advice from the WHO (World Health Organisation) and other health authorities, respecting travel restrictions where they exist, arriving early in Spain to allow time for self-quarantine and ensuring access to masks," it added.

MWC is a held in Barcelona every year. The event is usually home to big ticket mobile phone launches, like Samsung’s Galaxy S series. Samsung’s event this year though is expected on February 11.

ZTE had announced its first 5G smartphone at the MWC in 2019.

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