Without wishing to say I told you so, I err “told you so”. News just in and widely reported via Engadget, TechRadar, The Verge and others is that LG has officially pulled out of #MWC2020 citing safety concerns with the #coronavirus.
Last week we wrote ‘Industry Events Under Threat From #CoronaVirus‘ pointing out that the organisers GSMA needed to take the virus issue seriously or suffer the consequences. In that article we wrote “As the #coronavirus situation worsens, we would be very surprised if the Spanish or Catalan authorities allow this event to go ahead in its current form. The organisers GSMA … issued a wishy-washy everything will be okay press release which addressed none of the concerns of those who will attend”.
The official LG Electronics statement read “With the safety of its employees and general public foremost in mind, LG has decided to withdraw from exhibiting and participating in MWC 2020 later this month in Barcelona, Spain. This decision will prevent needlessly exposing hundreds of LG employees to international travel, which most health experts have advised”.
#MWC2020 is the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry, and attracts 100,000 global mobile operators, device manufacturers, technology providers, vendors, and content owners. Not surprisingly it is China-heavy.
In related news Chinese phone manufacturer and telecom giant ZTE cancelled its press conference at the show and said that it would “limit its presence at the show to avoid making people uncomfortable”.
With such a China heavy exhibitor list, we fully expect other exhibitors to pull out in the next week or so and would not be surprised if the event as a whole is at risk of being postponed.