Nokia pulls out of MWC over coronavirus concerns


Employees place a banner with information of MWC20 (Mobile World Congress) in Barcelona, Spain February 5, 2020.

HMD Global, a separate Finnish company that makes Nokia phones under license, also said it's pulling out. But this year, the coronavirus outbreak, which has so far taken 1,016 lives and infected more than 43,000 people globally, has prompted numerous exhibitors and participants to withdraw from the event. In an official statement, HMD says it has been monitoring the coronavirus outbreak situation closely and has chose to skip the MWC 2020 after much deliberation.

Given the number of companies refusing to go to MWC, the GSM Association responsible for organizing the event today confirmed to Bloomberg that it's canceled.

After Nokia announced it is cancelling its participation on MWC2020 in Barcelona, Nokia Mobile did the same move.

It's likely that more companies may withdraw from MWC this week, adding even more pressure on the shoulders GSMA. As many as 6,000 people had been due to attend MWC from China.

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Cisco: "We have made the hard decision to withdraw from participating in Mobile World Congress. due to concerns about the current outbreak of Coronavirus".

With the rapid spread of the Chinese virus that shows no signs of slowing down, industry observers have also warned that more companies can avoid the technological event. According to GSMA CEO John Hoffman, the Coronavirus outbreak has made it "impossible" to hold the event. HMD Global said that the health and safety of its employees, partners, customers, and media is its first priority hence the reason for canceling its participation at MWC 2020.

ZTE's exhibition stand and equipment will be disinfected daily and all of its booth exhibition staff will come from countries outside of China, mainly from Europe, it said.

MWC's organizer, the GSMA, has announced a series of restrictions meant to reduce the risk of the coronavirus infections at the conference, including a ban on travellers coming from the province in China where the virus was first identified.

Bombardier and Gulfstream Aerospace has also said they will not attend.