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MWC vs. 2019-nCoV

February 6, 2020.

MWC 2019.

MWC 2019. © GSM Association.

The Mobile World Congress, to be held in Barcelona from February 24 to 27, is the world’s largest mobile technology event. Just about every major builder attends, organizing press conferences to unveil new products. However, some of them are rethinking their attendance due to the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) epidemic. On Tuesday, Korean chaebol LG announced it would not attend this year’s congress. ZTE, the Shenzhen-based international conglomerate, has also downsized its presence, cancelling its press conference, though it still plans to have a stand. Huawei, for its part, has no plans to scale back, and is thinking of ways to mitigate risks. For example, they could send Europe-based staff (Huawei employs some 12,000 people in Europe), or send China-based staff to Spain ahead of time and voluntarily quarantine them. Quite apart from the Mobile World Congress, the 2019-nCoV threatens to disrupt the entire telephone manufacturing chain, whose essential links, including Foxconn, are in China.

The Register, Matthew Hughes, “Should I stay or should I go now? Mobile industry braces for an MWC overshadowed by Wuhan coronavirus misery.”