Following a series of crisis meetings on Wednesday afternoon, the industry association GSMA, organizer of the MWC, has decided to cancel the event completely for this year. This follows cancellations by major exhibitors, including AT&T, BT, Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, Intel, Nokia, Sony and Vodafone. All of them had justified their decision by stating that they did not want to expose their employees and visitors to the health risk posed by the highly infectious corona virus. Against this background, the organisers also expressed their concern.
“With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has cancelled MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event”, the industry organization said in a statement released Wednesday evening.
The fair was scheduled to take place in Barcelona from 24 to 27 February. The MWC is considered to be the world's largest mobile communications trade fair. The organizer originally expected more than 100,000 visitors and more than 2800 exhibitors this year.
A second important trade fair for the electronics industry, Embedded World, will take place in Nuremberg almost at the same time as the MWC. The organiser of the Embedded World said that discussions would be held on this issue during Thursday. However, at the time of publication of this article no statement had been made.