World’s biggest mobile trade event – the Mobile World Congress (MWC), which was scheduled to begin this year from February 24, has been cancelled citing the fears due to global epidemic of coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Many speculations were being made about the cancellation of MWC 2020 after major tech brands bailed out from the participation.
GSMA, the organizer of MWC released a statement on Wednesday confirming the cancellation of the event. GSMA regards this to the safety and health environment in Barcelona, Spain – the host city and the country. Coronavirus from China is a serious concern as this is the first time in 33 years that this annual mega event is not taking place.
This cancellation is a consequence of the current mobile market’s status, as China arguably leads as the world smartphone power. One major consequence of this cancellation is the economic impact on Barcelona as many companies are directly responsible for organisation and logistics of MWC. According to the data from GSMA, MWC received close to 110,000 visitors during last year from all over the world with 1 million business meetings being carried out.
Let’s come to the biggest question now – what will happen to the scheduled launch events and meetings? Various manufacturers have responded to this decision of GSMA by rescheduling their launch events to later dates, preferably online.
OPPO has rescheduled the launch of its latest 5G flagship, OPPO Find X2 in March with more information being shared soon. Realme will be launching its first 5G smartphone, X50 Pro 5G on February 24 online in Madrid. Xiaomi has also responded saying it will arrange a separate launch event for Mi Note 10 in Europe at later date. Any important business meetings scheduled at the event will anyways continue to happen online.
The cancellation of MWC 2020 is supposed to cause estimated loss of millions of Euros for all the stakeholders which include not just organizers, manufacturers and brands and also hotels and travel industry.