Mobile World Congress is a huge event in Europe that occurs every year and there is always new e-readers, smartphones and tablets that are announced and demoed to an eager public. This year, due to the Coronavirus it has been shut down and will not run this year, for the first time ever.
“Global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event,” John Hoffman, head of the organizing body, said in a statement Wednesday. He went on to say ““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 Host City Parties respect and understand this decision. The GSMA and the Host City Parties will continue to be working in unison and supporting each other for MWC Barcelona 2021 and future editions. Our sympathies at this time are with those affected in China, and all around the world.”
The decision comes after dozens of tech companies and wireless carriers dropped out, with the latest cancellations by Nokia, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom and Britain’s BT on Wednesday. Other big names that have already dropped out include Ericsson, Nokia, Sony, Amazon, Intel and LG. The companies cited concerns for the safety of staff and visitors.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.