The GSMA says it has canceled Mobile World Congress after the coronavirus made it "impossible" to hold the event.
The world's biggest phone show, MWC 2020, is no longer taking place this year.
GSMA CEO John Hoffman says in this statement that the coronavirus outbreak made it "impossible" to hold the event, which was scheduled to open in Barcelona on February 24.
"With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has cancelled MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event. The Host City Parties respect and understand this decision. The GSMA and the Host City Parties will continue to be working in unison and supporting each other for MWC Barcelona 2021 and future editions. Our sympathies at this time are with those affected in China, and all around the world."
Mobile World Congress has been cancelled, without the government declaring a health emergency. The conference's insurers are going to have a long week of it.
— Iain Thomson (@iainthomson) February 12, 2020
The impact here is on the city of Barcelona (hotels, venues, restaurants etc.) and travel budgets for companies and attendees (and what they may affect – airlines?). In terms of meetings and deals that would get done there, I think those can get re-scheduled pretty easily. https://t.co/p46sjPXY0l
— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) February 12, 2020
MWC cancelled – massive economic blow to Barcelona and mobile industry https://t.co/KaPeCNvzFW
— Rory Cellan-Jones (@ruskin147) February 12, 2020
In a statement confirming, the GSMA said that "global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event". Cancel those hotel rooms quick.
— Daniel Thomas (@DanielThomasLDN) February 12, 2020
— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) February 12, 2020
just booked a non refundable flight for MWC, excited to see what's announced there this year!
now to just open my inbox and see what meetings I should schedule
— dan seifert (@dcseifert) February 12, 2020
Wow. This is certainly unprecedented! https://t.co/23cGOpxoeK
— Paul O'Brien (@PaulOBrien) February 12, 2020
Hear me out: let's hold MWC completely online on Discord.
— Matthew Panzarino (@panzer) February 12, 2020
Another iconic MWC cornerstone company is out. I do wish GSMA would just move up their Friday plenary and put the rest of us out of our misery (or not). It's going to be ghost town at this rate. https://t.co/LAQvdikzgd
— Ingrid (@ingridlunden) February 12, 2020
Out of an abundance of caution, Facebook employees won't be attending this year's Mobile World Congress due to the evolving public health risks related to coronavirus https://t.co/K85pSNhN5P pic.twitter.com/q3fOdjKcKC
— CloudEXPO ® (@CloudExpo) February 11, 2020