- MWC 2020 is scheduled to begin from February 24.
- LG and ZTE have decided to skip the tech event due to Coronavirus outbreak.
- GSMA, the MWC organiser, has issued strict guidelines for the MWC 2020.
The widespread Coronavirus epidemic has sent an alarm throughout the world, causing disruption in major events, barring international travel, and compelling companies to take steps to ensure the safety of their employees. The MWC 2020 slated to begin officially from February 24 in Barcelona will happen despite the outbreak, GSMA had confirmed earlier. But in the wake of the global emergency, LG and ZTE have announced to pull out of the MWC 2020.
In a press note released on the company website, LG has expressed concerns over the safety of its employees that may get exposed to the virus. "With the safety of its employees, partners and customers foremost in mind, LG has decided to withdraw from exhibiting and participating in MWC 2020 later this month in Barcelona, Spain. This decision removes the risk of exposing hundreds of LG employees to international travel which has already become more restrictive as the virus continues to spread across borders," said the company.
LG's absence from the MWC 2020 means there will not be new smartphone launches at the event. But LG has added that it will hold separate events to launch its "2020 mobile products." The exact timelines for these launches are not clear as of now but LG may choose to begin with the announcements on its mobile devices after the grip of the virus weakens. The company could follow Samsung this time by organising its standalone events to launch mobile devices. This not only gives visibility to the new products but also helps create a better hype comparatively.
Similarly, China's major telecom equipment and mobile device maker ZTE has also pulled out of the MWC 2020. ZTE told The Verge that it is skipping the event due to "travel and visa delays" but the concerns regarding the Coronavirus outbreak have factored in. "[We] simply don't want to make people uncomfortable," ZTE was quoted as saying. Unlike LG, ZTE has its grassroots in China, the epicentre of the Coronavirus outbreak.
GSMA has also issued strict guidelines for this year's MWC. The organisation has advised the attendees to avoid shaking hands with each other. It also said that there will be increased and thorough cleaning of the premise with disinfectants; a "mic change protocol" is also in place for the event. "The GSMA confirms that there is minimal impact on the event thus far," said GSMA on its website ahead of the beginning of the MWC 2020.