The 2020 Mobile World Congress has been canceled by GSMA due to fears surrounding the 2019-nCoV coronavirus outbreak.
In an emailed statement, John Hoffman, the CEO of GSMA, said the outbreak has made it “impossible” to hold the event.
JUST IN: The 2020 Mobile World Congress has been canceled by GSMA because of #coronavirus fears.
— QuickTake by Bloomberg (@QuickTake) February 12, 2020
Members of the organizer, the GSMA, headed into a meeting on Wednesday expecting to announce a decision to cancel the conference in the afternoon, according to people familiar with the matter… [That cancellation announcement has now come to pass.]
Two of the world’s biggest phone carriers — Deutsche Telekom AG and Vodafone Group Plc — earlier on Wednesday joined major exhibitors such as Nokia Oyj, Ericsson AB and Sony Corp. in pulling out of MWC. Ericsson’s absence alone left a gap bigger than a standard American football field in the conference halls…
[The] decision to abandon the gathering for the first time in its 33-year history would underscore how the continued spread of the virus from its origin in China is denting business activity around the world. The death toll in China rose to 1,113 as of Feb. 11, and confirmed cases on the mainland have reached 44,653.
Liberty Media Corp.’s Formula One on Wednesday postponed the Chinese Grand Prix, due to be held in April. Scores of companies and VIPs have pulled out of the Singapore Airshow, the industry’s biggest in Asia, scheduled for this week.
MacDailyNews Take: It may have been a foregone conclusion that the Mobile World Congress 2020 would be canceled, but it’s bad news for Barcelona and Spain, not to mention peddlers of pretend iPhones the world over (for whom we won’t shed a tear).