This week we’ve written a number of stories regarding high-profile cancellations for Mobile World Congress later this month amid potential concerns over the coronavirus.
Exhibitors who were originally meant to come to the event, but have since pulled out, include Amazon, Ericsson, Intel, LG and Sony to name a few. Now HMD Global has cancelled its appearance at MWC 2020 after issuing a statement on the matter.
“HMD Global has been carefully monitoring the situation following the outbreak of Covid-19. After much deliberation, we have decided to cancel our participation at MWC Barcelona, 2020,” the firm says.
“MWC Barcelona has always been a key event in our annual calendar and we were very excited to showcase our new products to our partners, customers, media and fans. However, the health and safety of our employees, customers, and stakeholders is our highest priority. We believe the prudent decision is to cancel our participation at Mobile World Congress and want to express our sincere thanks to the GSMA and other authorities for their tireless efforts to address the challenges resulting from Covid-19, and they have our full support as they move forward,” the statement continues.
As for the plans that HMD Global had initially put in place, the firm has advised that it will issue a new timetable in terms of product announcements in the coming days. As such we could still see the company carry out a live streamed press conference as an alternative, which is a move that other exhibitors are also taking.
“We will update the media, our partners and customers on a new timeline for our product announcements,” HMD’s statement concludes.
At this stage the Mobile World Congress itself is in jeopardy as organisers, GSMA, currently mull over the choice to cancel the event entirely. At the time of writing no decision has been made, but we will keep our readers updated should anything change in that regard.
While MWC has been a mainstay on the tech calendar, the move to pull out of the event by some companies is certainly understandable given the circumstances, and places the health and safety of its visitors above all else.