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Google decides to back out of MWC 2021, cites Covid-19 risks

Google has announced that it will not participate in this year's Mobile World Congress and instead will provide any assistance to the organisers virtually. The decision comes at a time when the world faces the threat of rising Covid-19 cases yet again.

twitter-logoSarthak Dogra | April 2, 2021 | Updated 17:08 IST

Highlights

  • Google will skip an exhibition at the MWC 2021 but has promised to attend it next year.
  • The company cites Covid-19 related risks and travel restrictions as a reason for the absence.
  • Other firms like Nokia, Ericsson, Sony and Oracle have already backed out of the event.

Google will not participate in this year's Mobile World Congress, an annual event that showcases the latest in the global smartphone industry. The announcement makes Google the latest technology major to skip the event this time.

Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2021 is due to be held in June this year, postponed from its usual dates in February every year. The reason for the delay was the Covid-19 restrictions in place around the world.

Google cited the same reasons for not attending the event in person this year. In fact, Google is not the first to have skipped the MWC 2021, as tech behemoths including Nokia, Ericsson, Sony, and Oracle have already announced that they will not be attending the event this year.

In a statement to The Verge, Google said that it would continue to collaborate with GSMA and support its partners through "virtual opportunities" this year. It also affirmed that it would be present at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next year.

MWC 2021

For those unaware, MWC is the smartphone industry's flagship event that sees a footfall of around 1 lakh visitors every year. That is before the world faced the Coronavirus pandemic and travel restrictions were put in place.

The event was cancelled last year, as the world was facing the mounting threat of Coronavirus spread for the first time ever. As travel restrictions eased, its organisers felt they could go ahead with the plans this year but decided to postpone it to June to be safe.

The bet didn't work, as the cases of Covid-19 are yet again on the rise across countries, and several regions are facing an imminent lockdown as a solution.

Citing the obvious health risk to their employees, technology firms are now backing out of the event altogether. It thus does not come as a surprise that Google will also be skipping a physical presence at the event.

There is still time for the MWC 2021, and if the pandemic situation does not improve for the world collectively, we might see more such names backing out of this year's event. If in case it aggravates further, it is possible to see the cancellation of the event altogether.

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