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.
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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The US manufacturing giant lost $1bn in the fourth quarter as revenue plunged 37% after the worldwide grounding of the 737 Max. Boeing expects to incur further costs in 2020 that will factor into the $18.4 billion, primarily due to production snags.
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.