The organizers of Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2020 have canceled the event following a meeting earlier today.
In a statement, John Hoffman, the CEO of the GSM Association (GSMA) which runs the MWC event, said the outbreak of coronavirus has made it “impossible” to hold the show.
The announcement came after a video-conference meeting of the GSMA council earlier today. The council consists of representatives for 26 mobile networks, including Telefonica, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, Verizon, and others.
Although that meeting ended with the council agreeing that the show should continue, there were other reports that the organizers actually wanted to cancel the show. However, worries about whether or not insurance would cover the financial damages a cancelation would cause allegedly prevented the decision. It seems that the council either decided to cancel anyway or that they reached some sort of agreement with the insurance companies.
According to Spanish daily El Pais, the video conference meeting was initiated after Nokia and GSMA council member Deutsche Telekom announced that they would pull out of MWC 2020. This came after multiple major companies canceled or at least drastically diminished their planned presence at the show. Prominent firms to withdraw from MWC 2020 in the run-up to its cancelation include Amazon, Facebook, LG, Sony, Vivo, HMD Global, and many more.
Mobile World Congress is the world’s largest show dedicated to smartphones and other mobile products. Multiple major companies were going to release new phones during the show. These launches will now likely happen at smaller events in the coming weeks.