After an emergency meeting for a few days, the heads of the GSMA have announced something surprising: There will be no MWC in 2020.
At first, all Chinese citizens who are going to attend the congress had to prove that they had spent the last 14 days outside of China. However, the constant complaints by major players such as LG, HMD, Sony, Ericsson, AT&T, and Deutsche Telekom to safeguard the safety of employees and assistants have led to this decision. The coronavirus is in charge of this cancelation.
What consequences does this decision have for the city, the country, and technology companies?
There will be no Mobile World Congress 2020
No one imagined this nightmare just a month ago. This year there will be no Mobile World Congress and the consequences will be very serious for Barcelona, for the GSMA, and many technology companies. We will try to find out what the cancellation of the Mobile World Congress 2020 entails.
The news jumped yesterday afternoon: the GSMA (the association of mobile operators and manufacturers that organizes the event) announced that the Mobile World Congress had been canceled. A Mobile World Congress is much more than just the cancellation of mobile presentations and other devices. It is an economic disaster for hundreds of companies, businesses and entities involved in the organization of the congress, with everything that drags around it.
Although Spain is a low-risk zone for the coronavirus and the measures imposed by the GSMA seemed sufficient, the committee would rather cancel the plan. The cancellation of companies increased day by day, and in the end, the GSMA has been forced to cancel the event.
The cancellation of the MWC is also a simple consequence of the current mobile market. China is today the great world power of technology. Although, some countries refuse to admit it.
Most of the mobile companies, both brands and components, are Chinese, and many congress attendees, at least 15%, came from Asia. Although many brands had voluntarily reduced employees who came directly from China. Thus, the risk of contagion existed, and certain companies have not wanted to put their employees in a complicated situation.
Canceling a mobile world congress is a very serious economic stumbling block for everyone involved. It can even endanger the survival of many companies.
What are the consequences of the cancellation of MWC 2020?
The first major victim of the cancellation of the congress is undoubtedly Barcelona. And by extension, the whole country. Many visitors planned to go to congress and stay a few days around or travel to other places. And many companies throughout Spain participate in different aspects of the organization and logistics of the MWC.
Last year, according to GSMA data, MWC received 109,000 visitors from 200 countries (59% of them are senior executives). It included 7,900 company CEOs, 2,800 technology companies, 3,640 analysts and journalists from hundreds of media, and it last for four days. They carried out more than one million business meetings.
The income loss for the city of Barcelona is close to 500 million euros. With it, 14,000 temporary workers for the event also need to cancel their contract.
The first directly affected is the Fira de Barcelona, the fair institution that hosts the event. The MWC accounts for 30% of its annual income, which will now have to litigate with the GSMA.
Photo Credit: Emilio Morenatti.
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