Sony, Amazon, and NVIDIA have just announced withdrawal from the Mobile World Congress 2020 scheduled in Barcelona between Feb. 24 and Feb. 27 amid rising global concerns regarding the Coronavirus outbreak. Other tech giants are also contemplating the possibility of avoiding the event which attracts over 100,000 tech fans from around the world every year.
According to a statement posted on its official website, Sony claims, “We have been closely monitoring the Coronavirus outbreak that was declared a global emergency by WHO on Jan. 30, 2020. Keeping in mind the safety of our fans, partners, and employees, Sony has decided to withdraw from the exhibition. A press conference will now be held at 8.30 AM CET on Feb. 24 on the official Xperia YouTube channel instead”.
Similar news comes from Amazon and NVIDIA. In a report published on TechCrunch, an Amazon spokesperson revealed, “Amazon has decided to withdraw participation from MWC 2020 due to the global outbreak and rising concerns related to Coronavirus”. Other companies to have previously withdrawn from the event include Ericsson and LG.
NVIDIA posted a brief summary during the weekend, explaining its decision to skip the event this year. “NVIDIA has decided to forego MWC 2020 keeping in mind the health risks around Coronavirus. Given the unforeseen circumstances, the difficult decision was taken to ensure the safety of our colleagues, partners, and clients” the statement read.
The organizers, GSMA, recently came forward with a list of precautions that they have taken, including putting a ban on visitors from China’s Hubei province, which is Ground Zero for the Coronavirus outbreak. Chinese passport holders interested in attending MWC must also prove they have been living outside China for the last 14 days. GSMA has also confirmed that “while a few major participants have withdrawn from the event, more than 2,800 exhibitors are still taking part”.
LG and Ericsson are some of the other known brands that have withdrawn from MWC 2020. Similar announcements are expected from other notable brands within the next few days, but its impact on MWC is uncertain. A spokesperson from ZTE had said that the company had cancelled its MWC 2020. However, through a press release that it will showcase its new products at the tech exhibition. Qualcomm, Lenovo, Motorola, Xiaomi, Vivo, OPPO, Realme, Nokia, Honor, TCL, ZTE and Nubia are some of the companies that will be present at the event.
According to the GSMA’s estimates, between 5,000 and 6,000 Chinese nationals visit MWC every year. The organizers suggest participants avoid any form of physical contact with others, including handshake and the like. The hosts also plan to disinfect microphones and other shared electronic devices after every use and change the microphone for the next speaker.
There are more than 908 confirmed deaths due to Coronavirus infection in China alone, while 40,171 people are infected. The numbers are only likely to increase in the coming days. Coronavirus is difficult to diagnose at first as its symptoms are in-line with the common cold. Moreover, the virus only affects people with a weakened immune system, which puts children and the elderly at a higher risk of infection.
This content was originally published here.