Following LG, Ericsson Withdraws From MWC Over Coronavirus Fears

Ericsson HQ

Ericsson is following LG Electronics' decision to withdraw from MWC Barcelona 2020 due to concerns over the recent coronavirus outbreak.

GSMA, the organizing committee for the Mobile World Congress understands the risk of the virus but also values the importance of keeping the show running. "This is not a decision we have taken lightly".

The GSMA, which organises the show in the Spanish city, said that while it could "confirm some large exhibitors have decided not to come to the show this year with others still contemplating next steps, we remain more than 2,800 exhibitors strong".

While the company will not be participating in the largest event in the telecom industry this year, it has chose to showcase some of its new innovations at local events called "Ericsson Unboxed".

The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is the largest mobile technology-focused event in the world, with a typical attendance of over 100,000 and almost all major phone makers and telecoms exhibiting, many of them from China.

But this year is bound to be different.

Given public health risks around the coronavirus, ensuring the safety of our colleagues, partners and customers is our highest concern. ZTE also said it was adopting measures including disinfecting its exhibition stand daily and making sure it's staffed by employees from countries outside China, mainly from Europe.

The GSMA estimates that between 5,000 and 6,000 people visit Mobile World Congress. The move follows LG's announcement earlier this week that it was pulling out of the show.

Chinese-based ZTE has chose to cancel its Devices Press conference scheduled on February 25, although it is still planning on attending the event. The MWC event, which is scheduled to take place from 24 to 27 February, will be held in Barcelona, Spain.

GSMA continued: "Advocating across the industry through government and ministers, policymakers, operators and industry leaders has never been more critical".

The MWC organiser GSMA stated that it is keeping track of and also examining the prospective effect of the coronavirus on its occasions held every year in Barcelona, Shanghai and also Los Angeles and also in addition to the Mobile 360 Series of local seminars. Ericsson's cancellation will have some impact on our presence at this time and will potentially have further impact.

It also added that following the outbreak and continued spreading of the novel corona virus, the company closely monitored the development and adhered to recommendations from relevant national authorities and worldwide bodies.

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