Mobile World Congress 2020, which starts in Barcelona on the 24th of February, has seen a host of large companies withdrawing their participation due to the coronavirus outbreak, including Amazon, Ericsson, LG, Facebook, and Sony.
In a press release, Nokia stated that it has been “carefully monitoring the situation following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, with the goal of making a fact-based decision related to our attendance at Mobile World Congress in 2020.”
“While the health and safety of our employees is our absolute priority, we also recognize that we have a responsibility to the industry and our customers. In view of this, we have taken the necessary time to evaluate a fast-moving situation, engage with the GSMA and other stakeholders, regularly consult external experts and authorities, and plan to manage risks based on a wide range of scenarios.”
“The conclusion of that process is that we believe the prudent decision is to cancel our participation at Mobile World Congress. We want to express our thanks to the GSMA, the governments of China and Spain as well as Catalonia’s Generalitat, and many others who have worked tirelessly to address the challenges resulting from the novel coronavirus, and they have our full support as they move forward.”
Instead of meeting with customers Nokia will hold a series of “Nokia Live” events aimed at showcasing industry-leading demos and launches scheduled for MWC.
With all the uncertainty generated by the novel coronavirus it is almost certain that more companies will withdraw from Mobile World Congress 2020 raising the question of its viability going forward.