The high-profile MWC 2020 withdrawals continue.
AT&T, Sprint, Intel, Facebook, NTT Docomo, Vivo, and MediaTek have all confirmed that they’re withdrawing from Mobile World Congress over concerns about the coronavirus. “Unfortunately, the most responsible decision is to withdraw our participation from the event to safeguard our employees and customers,” AT&T told Reuters.
The other companies offered similar explanations. “The safety and wellbeing of all our employees and partners is our top priority, and we have withdrawn from this year’s Mobile World Congress out of an abundance of caution,” Intel explained to The Register. “We are grateful to the GSMA for their understanding and look forward to attending and supporting future Mobile World Congress events.”
Meanwhile, Facebook told Light Reading that “out of an abundance of caution, Facebook employees won’t be attending this year’s Mobile World Congress due to the evolving public health risks related to the coronavirus.”
MediaTek has said that it’s pulling out of MWC to protect the health and safety of its people, and Japanese carrier NTT Docomo has also confirmed that it’s withdrawing from MWC for the safety of “visitors, partner companies, and staff members.” Sprint has confirmed that it will also be skipping MWC “due to conerns around the novel coronavirus.”
These companies join the likes of Amazon, Sony, NVIDIA, and LG in withdrawing from MWC. Not every company is completely skipping the show — TCL has said that it’s canceling its press conference but will still exhibit products at MWC — but this year’s edition of Mobile World Congress is definitely going to be lighter, if it happens at all.
Sources speaking to Reuters say that the GSMA, the group that holds MWC every year, will hold a meeting on Friday to discuss the possible cancellation of this year’s Mobile World Congress.