11 February 2020
As many were expecting, the GSMA has officially canceled Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2020 amid Coronavirus concerns. The announcement was made by John Hoffman, CEO of GSMA, via a press release. This is the first time since MWC's inception that the world's biggest tech trade show will not be taking place.
A large number of major tech brands had announced that they would skip MWC 2020. Some of these include AT&T, Amazon, BT, Ericsson, Deutsche Telekom, Cisco, Intel, Facebook, HMD Global, Nokia, LG, Sprint, Verizon, Sony, MediaTek, Royole, Marvell, Volvo, NVIDIA, Marvell, McAfee, Sprint, Rakuten, Western Digital, and Vivo. With so many big names giving a miss, MWC had already started to lose its appeal to attendees including journalists.
This seems to be the major reason GSMA finally decided to pull the trigger and call off the event. Here is what Hoffman said about the decision in the official statement,
"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."
MWC is an annual event where tech brands from around the world come together to announce their respective new smartphones, tablets, and technological innovations among other tech-related things. With no MWC 2020 anymore, we should expect these brands to hold individual events for making those announcements.