On February 13, according to foreign media reports, the Mobile World Congress (MWC) attracts more than 100,000 tourists to Barcelona every year. However, on Wednesday, due to concerns about the impact of the new coronavirus pneumonia epidemic, the large-scale withdrawal of exhibitors, the organizers decided to cancel this year's conference.
The GSMA Telecommunications Association, which hosted the conference, said that despite local and national health officials guaranteeing the event was safe, it decided to cancel the event, which will run from February 24 to 27. John Hoffman, the head of GSMA, said in a statement: "GSMA has cancelled 2020 MWC because global concerns over the new coronavirus pneumonia epidemic, travel and other conditions have prevented this year's MWC conference from being held properly. . "
Prior to the announcement, GSMA's board of directors held an emergency meeting, after major European members such as Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, BT and Nokia have successively withdrawn. Telefonica, one of the largest telecom operators that has not yet announced its withdrawal, said late on Wednesday: "Understanding GSMA's decision to cancel the 2020 MWC due to concerns over a corona virus outbreak." The company also stated that it will always support Barcelona As the host city of MWC.
GSMA said the host cities and partners respect and understand their decisions, adding that they will "continue to work together" to host next year's conference. Huffman and Corau will hold a joint press conference on Thursday.
Sources said that because of the sheer size of the MWC, delegates were packed with hotels and restaurants in Barcelona, and postponing was never a realistic option. Industry sources and insurance experts said that any event insurance purchased by GSMA will pay compensation on detailed terms, making the final decision more difficult. Unless restrictions are imposed on public gatherings in the country for health reasons, these policies are unlikely to be effective.