The coronavirus outbreak, which continues in China, is also impacting the upcoming Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona as well. Sony, which is usually announces a new smartphone product at the MWC, has announced that it will be withdrawing from the exhibition. Along with Sony, global giant Amazon has also withdrawn from MWC. Other companies which have already cancelled their events in lieu of the outbreak are LG, ZTE, Nvidia and Ericsson.
In a statement posted on their website, Sony wrote, “As we place the utmost importance on the safety and wellbeing of our customers, partners, media and employees, we have taken the difficult decision to withdraw from exhibiting and participating at MWC 2020 in Barcelona, Spain.”
The Sony press conference will however, take place on YouTube. The timing is 8:30am (CET) on February 24, 2020. Sony will be hosting the press conference via their official Xperia YouTube channel.
Amazon also told TechCrunch that it was withdrawing from the exhibition due to the coronavirus outbreak, though the company typically does not announce or showcase any new products at the event.
The GSM Association,which officially hosts the exhibition had also issued a statement confirming that some large exhibitors were not coming to the show this year and that others are still contemplating next steps. According to the statement, there will be more than 2,800 exhibitors at the MWC 2020.
A part of the preventive steps, all travellers from the Hubei province will not be permitted access to the event. This is where the epidemic began in China.
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Further, all travellers who have been in China will need to demonstrate proof they have been outside of China 14 days prior to the event and this would require their health certificate and passport stamp. GSMA is also putting temperature screening in place, and says that attendees will need to self-certify they have not been in contact with anyone infected.
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