Amazon and Sony have bowed out of participating entirely in the world’s largest yearly mobile technology trade show – the Mobile World Congress 2020 (MWC 2020) – which is scheduled to be held from February 24 to 27 in Barcelona, Spain. Other tech companies like LG, ZTE, Nvidia, and Ericsson already cancelled certain events that were to be held at the MWC 2020. But TCL announced that though it will not be holding a press conference it still plans on attending.
Sony posted a statement on its website saying, “Sony has been closely monitoring the evolving situation following the novel coronavirus outbreak, which was declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization on January 30th, 2020.” The statement went on to say, “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.”
Amazon in the meantime told TechCrunch that because of the epidemic outbreak and the continued concerns regarding the coronavirus, the company was withdrawing from participating and exhibiting in the MWC 2020 this month in Barcelona.
Historically, Amazon has not had a consumer-focusing presence at the MWCs as compared to Sony. Sony generally uses the MWC to show and launch its most important mobile devices. In 2019, for example, Sony displayed its Xperia 1 flagship smartphone at MWC. However, this year, the company will make its announcements for its products online using its Xperia YouTube channel.
TCL announced in a statement its intention to cancel its press conference event at MWC but that this would not have any impact on all other activities the company has planned for MWC. The company stresses it plans to announce its latest mobile devices and to display them at its TCL booth.
The GSM Association (Global System for Mobile communications) which organizes MWC, gave out a statement about countermeasures it is implementing against the spread of the coronavirus for the event.
Travelers from China’s Wuhan province where the outbreak of the coronavirus started will not be permitted to attend or have any access to the event. Other people who have visited any region in China will have to prove that they have been out of China for over 14 days beforehand. This will most likely complicate matters for the various Chinese companies who were planning on attending MWC 2020.