Breaking: Mobile World Congress 2020 has been canceled

Breaking: Mobile World Congress 2020 has been canceled

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Mobile World Congress 2020 has been officially canceled. GSMA, the organization that puts on MWC in Barcelona each year, broke the news in a statement to Bloomberg. A reporter from FT and La Vanguardia are also independently reporting the news, and the GSMA issued a statement on its official newsroom. The event is being called off due to a growing number of companies pulling out of the show.

This may not come as a surprise if you’ve been following the news. Phone manufacturers who had already dropped out of the show completely or canceled their presentations include LG, Sony, TCL, ZTE, Vivo, HMD Global, and many others. With just under two weeks until MWC was scheduled to begin, it became clear that the snowball effect would only get worse.

The reason behind all of these companies withdrawing is due to the 2019 novel Coronavirus (the infection of which is now called COVID-19) outbreak. Many of the companies pointed to the potential health risk for the thousands of employees and attendees. GSMA CEO John Hoffman said the potential for an outbreak has made it “impossible” to hold the event.

Hundreds of thousands of people from around the world attend the conference, and companies spend millions of dollars in preparation for the event. The cancelation of this event will deal a major blow to the industry, as we were expecting major smartphone launches from brands like HMD Global, Huawei, Honor, LG, Motorola, OPPO, Realme, Sony, TCL, Vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE. Of course, there will likely still be a lot of mobile news to come later this month. Companies have been preparing for the show for a long time and they will still need to show off new products. It just won’t happen at MWC, where thousands of journalists conveniently gather.