Facebook, AT&T, Cisco and Sprint are the latest companies to pull out of MWC 2020. All the companies cited citing the Coronavirus outbreak as the reason to pull out of the trade show.
Out of an abundance of caution, Facebook employees won’t be attending this year’s Mobile World Congress due to the evolving public health risks related to coronavirus. We will continue to collaborate with the GSMA and our partners and thank them for their efforts.
We value our participation in important industry groups like GSMA and deeply respect the steps they have already taken to protect attendees. Unfortunately, the most responsible decision is to withdraw our participation from the event to safeguard our employees and customers.
While we are extremely disappointed that we cannot continue with this event as planned, we believe this is the right decision given the current circumstances.
MWC 2020 is expected to kick off on 24th February 2020 but with companies withdrawing from the trade show, GSM Association might call off the show. The body has assured that they will be taking appropriate measures to ensure all the attendees are safe. GSM Association recently sent out an updated notice detailing the steps taken to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the attendees.
However, with Coronavirus affecting over 40,000 people worldwide, it might be hard to contain the spread especially when you have 100,000 people in a confined space at a trade show. According to sources familiar with the matter, the GSM Association will have a board meeting on Friday to decide the fate of MWC 2020. That said, the conference gave Barcelona’s economy a boost of around 470 million euros ($515 million) last year which makes this a really important decision for everyone involved directly or indirectly.