The World’s Largest Smartphone Conference Canceled Due to Coronavirus Concerns

The World’s Largest Smartphone Conference Canceled Due to Coronavirus Concerns

The annual conference, scheduled to kick off on February 24, is a marquee event for the city of Barcelona and for the mobile phone industry.

The deals that won't be done could impact the mobile phone industry well into the future.

Other companies also took action in light of coronavirus concerns.

THE GSMA has chose to cancel MWC 2020 following the withdrawal of several companies citing concerns about the coronavirus. "The conclusion of that process is that we believe the prudent decision is to cancel our participation at Mobile World Congress", Nokia said in a statement.

Initially, the GSMA remained committed to hosting the annual tech show, despite the cancellations.

Workers at the Mobile World Congress sit outside the venue in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020.

Over the last week a number of companies have pulled out of the conference and now the GSMA has announced that this years conference is cancelled. Umm, nothing is stopping any of the companies that were planning to attend MWC from announcing whatever they planned to announce.

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On Wednesday, a slew of further names confirmed they would not attend, including BT, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, Finnish telecoms company Nokia and France's Orange, even though its chief executive Stéphane Richard is chairman of the GSMA.

He stated that while no mass gathering is ever risk-free - with the potential for food poisoning, injuries or building collapse - most events "can continue if the proper measures can be applied".

But he said that large meetings of people with many worldwide guests pose a particular risk: "Taking this risk would be irresponsible".

This may not come as a surprise if you've been following the news.

"Where there is no prohibition and companies make their own commercial decision, I can not see that the market is paying", said Edel Ryan, who is on the Special Risks team at the Marsh JLT Specialty corridor, before the GSMA decision.

Local paper La Vanguardia followed this by citing Barcelona mayor Ada Colau, who stated that there was "no reason whatsoever" to declare a state of emergency, and that the city was "perfectly prepared" to host the event.

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