The recent outbreak of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China and elsewhere in the world seems to have dampened the Mobile World Congress 2020, to be held in Barcelona, Spain. Sony and Amazon are among the many companies that have declined to participate in the event as many of their delegates would have traveled to China. Previously, Ericsson, NVIDIA, ZTE, LG, and other companies have similarly canceled their participation at the MWC.
Sony and Amazon both pull out of MWC 2020
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the coronavirus to be a global health emergency. Sony announced its plans to cancel its participation at the MWC 2020 by explaining it is concerned about the health and wellbeing of its customers, partners, media, and employees. It also noted that the decision was very difficult, and seemed to express its regret and helplessness.
Amazon too expressed similar concerns and announced that it would be pulling off from the event. It has not had a huge presence in the MWC in the past anyway. However, it is a big company and its presence would have attracted visitors to the event. Amazon also did not have huge plans to unveil any sort of consumer devices. Its participation would have merely been symbolic. However, Sony had planned to unveil products at the MWC 2020, as it has done in the past. Now, the tech giant plans to announce its latest products on its Xperia YouTube channel.
Participants who have visited China or are from China may not be allowed into the event
Participants from China face severe restrictions to attend the event. Organizers will not allow those who hail from China’s Hubei province to enter the event. This ban applies to anybody who has visited the province as well. Those who have visited other parts of China will need to prove that they have been outside China for at least 14 days before attending the event. With this in mind, many Chinese companies have already announced that they will not be attending the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Is the event going to be a flop?
Considering all these cancelations, one might wonder just how successful the MWC 2020 is going to be. Most likely, the visitors’ numbers will also drop down drastically, as their favorite companies will not be participating. It is not clear how successful or unsuccessful the event is going to be this time. There is a great chance that the event will receive a very tepid response from participants, media, visitors, and delegates.