Coronavirus Affect: Four Tech Giants Pull Out of Mobile World Congress

With just 15 days to go, four major tech companies have withdrawn their names from participation in the Mobile World Congress. The tech event it scheduled to happen in Barcelona between 25 Feb and 28 Feb. The Novel Corona Virus has set off alarms in such a manner that companies like Amazon, NVIDIA, Sony, LG and ZTE have withdrawn their names in a bid to protect their employees from the global emergency, thereby removing the risk of getting infected.

These steps have been taken despite the fact that there are solid ground rules to make sure that the infected people don’t come to the Mobile Word Congress. The guidelines laid down by the GSM are as follows:

  • All travellers from the Hubei province will not be permitted access to the event
  • All travellers who have been in China will need to demonstrate proof they have been outside of China 14 days prior to the event (passport stamp, health certificate)
  • Temperature screening will be implemented
  • Attendees will need to self-certify they have not been in contact with anyone infected.

Sony has taken an alternative way to showcase their product. The Sony would initiate a press conference through official Xperia’s YouTube channel at 8:30 AM (CET) on the 24th Feb. NVIDIA on the other hand appreciated the guidelines laid down by the GSM. They had planned to show case Artificial Intelligence, 5G and vRAN, however, because of the threat to employees they had to cancel.

The Corona Virus has taken lives of nearly 900 people and have infected about 30,000 people across the globe. The Mobile World Congress is expected to attract about 5000 – 6000 people from China, who would showcase their mobile tech to the world.

Here are the statements:

Sony’s statement:

Sony has been closely monitoring the evolving situation following the novel coronavirus outbreak, which was declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization on January 30th, 2020.

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.

The Sony press conference will now instead take place at the scheduled time of 8:30am (CET) on February 24, 2020 as a video via our official Xperia YouTube channel to share our exciting product news.

NVIDIA’s statement:

We’ve informed GSMA, the organizers of MWC Barcelona, that we won’t be sending our employees to this year’s event.

Given public health risks around the coronavirus, ensuring the safety of our colleagues, partners and customers is our highest concern.

MWC Barcelona is one of the world’s most important technology conferences. We’ve been looking forward to sharing our work in AI, 5G and vRAN with the industry. We regret not attending, but believe this is the right decision.

We’re grateful for GSMA’s leadership and continued efforts to ensure the safety of all attendees.

Amazon’s statement:

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.

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