Mobile World Congress, the mobile-focused event that typically draws over 100,000 attendees each year, has officially been canceled.
This is the first time the event won't be held in 33 years, but MWC 2020 has been called off due to some very valid concerns about the coronavirus outbreak. Larger firms had already begun pulling out from the show earlier in February, including Sony, Amazon, LG, Intel, and Nokia, leading to what would have been a barebones show as it is, but now the plug has been pulled on the entire event.
Initially, plans were to hold MWC 2020 despite global health concerns, as the team had announced in a press release it had taken the utmost precautions to contain and prevent any potential spread of the virus. Now, as the outbreak has claimed over 1,115 lives with over 45,000 confirmed cases by The Who, it seems too risky of a measure to take.
"The global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible" for the event to take place, said John Hoffman, chief executive officer of conference organizer GSMA in a statement to Bloomberg.
It's probably better this way after all – it doesn't appear that mass meetings like this one are a great idea right now, given that the coronavirus has spread so quickly in just the three months since the initial outbreak.
The GSM Association hasn't divulged when or if there will be a different event where companies can meet and showcase their wares just yet, but if anything does end up coming together in the future, we'll be sure to keep you in the loop.