Amazon, Sony, and NVIDIA withdraw from MWC over coronavirus concerns

Amazon packaging

Mobile World Congress is typically one of the biggest mobile events of the year, but it’s looking like this year’s edition will be a bit more subdued compared to most others.

More companies have announced that they will be skipping MWC 2020 or will have a reduced presence at the show due to concerns about the coronavirus. NVIDIA, Sony, and Amazon have all announced that they’re withdrawing from MWC completely, and TCL tells us that it has canceled its press conference but will be showing its products on the show floor. LG said last week that it will be skipping MWC, too.

Here’s NVIDIA’s statement:

“We’ve informed GSMA, the organizers of MWC Barcelona, that we won’t be sending our employees to this year’s event.

“Given public health risks around the coronavirus, ensuring the safety of our colleagues, partners and customers is our highest concern.

“MWC Barcelona is one of the world’s most important technology conferences. We’ve been looking forward to sharing our work in AI, 5G and vRAN with the industry. We regret not attending, but believe this is the right decision.

“We’re grateful for GSMA’s leadership and continued efforts to ensure the safety of all attendees.”

Sony says that while it won’t be attending MWC, its press conference will still happen at 8:30 AM CT on February 24th, but it’ll be streamed on YouTube instead:

“Sony has been closely monitoring the evolving situation following the novel coronavirus outbreak, which was declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization on January 30th, 2020.

“As we place the utmost importance on the safety and wellbeing of our customers, partners, media and employees, we have taken the difficult decision to withdraw from exhibiting and participating at MWC 2020 in Barcelona, Spain.

“The Sony press conference will now instead take place at the scheduled time of 8:30am (CET) on February 24, 2020 as a video via our official Xperia YouTube channel to share our exciting product news.

“Sony would like to thank everyone for their understanding and ongoing support during these challenging times.”

Here’s what TCL told us regarding its MWC presence:

“Given the recent global health concerns due to the spread of the 2019-nCoV virus, and out of an abundance of caution and care for our staff, customers, press and other guests, TCL Communication is cancelling its global press event for MWC 2020, which was planned for 22 February 2020. This decision does not impact any other MWC 2020 activities planned by the company and TCL will still announce its latest mobile devices and showcase them at its booth in the Fira Gran Via – Hall 3, Stand 3D11 – from 24-27 February as scheduled. 

“TCL is grateful to the GSMA for their most recent guidance and update regarding the potential impact of the 2019-nCoV virus on MWC 2020 and will continue to follow their updates, monitor this situation closely, and share further updates as necessary.”

And finally, here’s what Amazon told TechCrunch about the event:

“Due to the outbreak and continued concerns about novel coronavirus, Amazon will withdraw from exhibiting and participating in Mobile World Congress 2020, scheduled for Feb. 24-27 in Barcelona, Spain.”

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