Mobile World Congress Cancelled Due to Coronavirus Concerns

The conference is a key event on the calendar for the global mobile industry.
Author:
Publish date:

The Mobile World Congress has been cancelled because of the coronavirus, GSMA, the mobile industry’s trade association, which runs the conference, announced Wednesday.

The Congress, a top annual conference for the industry, was scheduled for Feb. 24-27 in Barcelona. But organizers and attendees were greatly concerned about the potential spread of coronavirus. The event hosted more than 100,000 participants last year.

TheStreet.com reported Tuesday that Intel (INTC) - Get Report, Cisco (CSCO) - Get Report, Facebook (FB) - Get Report and Sprint (S) - Get Report joined the list of companies staying away from the meeting.

“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,” GSMA CEO John Hoffman said in a statement.

“The host city parties respect and understand this decision," Hoffman continued. "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.”

The GSMA offered sympathies to those affected by the coronavirus around the world. More than 1,100 people have died from the disease so far.

What some experts are calling a pandemic has sent China’s economy into a standstill. Some analysts are worried that China’s woes will drive European economies, which are dependent on China as a supplier and manufacturer, as well as an outlet for their exports, into recession. 

The U.S. economy will likely suffer as a result of China’s slowdown as well, for the same reasons, though it is difficult to predict the scope of the damage at this point.

The author holds shares of Intel, Cisco and Facebook.