After NVIDIA, Sony and Amazon are the latest companies to cancel their trip to Mobile World Congress due to the recent coronavirus outbreak. LG and Ericsson have already confirmed that they would not be attending the biggest mobile technology trade show on the annual calendar.
“Sony has been closely monitoring the evolving situation following the novel coronavirus outbreak, which was declared a global emergency by the World Health Organisation on January 30th, 2020,” Sony said in a statement posted to its website. “As we place the utmost importance on the safety and wellbeing of our customers, partners, media, and employees, we have taken the difficult decision to withdraw from exhibiting and participating at MWC 2020 in Barcelona, Spain.”
Amazon also gave an official statement to TechCrunch: “due to the outbreak and continued concerns about novel coronavirus, Amazon will withdraw from exhibiting and participating in Mobile World Congress 2020, scheduled for Feb. 24-27 in Barcelona, Spain.”
Amazon didn’t have any historical presence on the previous iterations of the event. Sony, on the other hand often uses the platform to showcase its most important mobile device. Last year, the company announced its Xperia 1 flagship phone at the show. Instead, Sony plans to make its announcements online through its Xperia YouTube channel this year.
GSM Association which organizes the MWC event released an updated statement yesterday detailing further countermeasures that it is taking against the spread of the coronavirus. Travelers from China’s Hubei province where the outbreak began will not be permitted access to the event. The ones who have visited other regions of China will need to give proof that they have been out of the country for 14 days beforehand. With only two weeks till the event, this will likely complicate the plans of several Chinese companies like Xiaomi, Lenovo, Vivo, and Honor already gave their word about attending the show.
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