Growing concerns over the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus are highly likely to badly affect MWC 2020, the world’s largest mobile event. This year’s event could be scrapped entirely or significantly reduced in size.
The GSMA body that organizes the Mobile World Congress is reportedly meeting on Feb. 14 to discuss whether this year’s conference should be canceled. However, the GSMA has not officially announced this and has no official comment on the meeting.
Fears of the coronavirus outbreak have already caused many companies such as Amazon, LG Electronics, NVIDIA, Vivo, and more to drop out of the event. Other global ICT companies are also minimizing the number of their employees who will take part in the MWC as exhibitors.
On Feb. 10, the MWC organizer GSMA announced a plan to strengthen measures against the spread of the deadly virus worldwide. A visitor who comes from or via Hubei Province of China will not be allowed to enter the venue of the trade show.
The MWC is one of the world's three largest IT exhibitions scheduled to run in Barcelona, Spain, from Feb. 24 to 27. It is a big event attracting more than 100,000 visitors every year. Chinese companies use it to show off their technological excellence. Huawei, Xiaomi, ZTE and Oppo were scheduled to showcase their technological achievements at the MWC.
Huawei, the largest sponsor of the exhibition, has already spent a huge amount of money on the event. Some experts say that if and when the MWC is held despite concerns over the spread of the virus, Huawei may suffer damage to its business, possibly, due to racial hatred.