This Wednesday, February 12, after much deliberation and after the extensive list of casualties to the event, the GSMA meeting in Barcelona decided to suspend the Mobile World Congress 2020 (MWC).
The outbreak of coronavirus could more and scare the brands that were going to be presented in the city of Barcelona, so after a long meeting that departed at 14 hours in Spain, the organization of the event decided that it could not continue above, beyond that the local health authorities had given all the security guarantees, since the disease is not present in Catalua.
GSMA CEO John Hoffman confirmed the cancellation to Bloomberg.
JUST IN: The 2020 Mobile World Congress has been canceled by GSMA because of #coronavirus fears.
In an emailed statement, John Hoffman, the CEO of GSMA, said the outbreak has made it "impossible" to hold the event # MWC2020 pic.twitter.com/PS1BqTCzU8
– QuickTake by Bloomberg (@QuickTake) February 12, 2020
With due respect for the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has canceled the MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the outbreak of coronavirus, the concern for travel and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to celebrate the event, ”said the GSMA.
GSMA full statement
Ac the complete statement of the GSMA about the cancellation of MWC 2020:
February 12, 2020, Barcelona:
“Since the first edition of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in 2006, the GSMA has convened industry, governments, ministers, policy makers, operators and industry leaders throughout the wider ecosystem.
With due respect for the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has canceled the MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the outbreak of coronavirus, the concern for travel and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA celebrate the event.
The host parties respect and understand this decision.
The GSMA and the host city festivities will continue to work in unison and support each other for the MWC Barcelona 2021 and future editions.
Our sympaths are currently with those affected in China and around the world. ”
Chronicle of a long day
The day was full of contradictions, already early on February 12, a statement was issued by Reuters saying that the event was still standing and that all sanitary measures had already been announced.
In fact, at a press conference in parallel to the GSMA meeting, and
Even the Secretary of Public Health of Catalonia, Joan Guix, said that there was "no health reason" to suspend the Mobile and said there is a "medical and fear epidemic" motivated by economic and political interests.
However, despite the good wishes of the local authorities, the decision was precipitated because two of the main telephone companies in the world and Europe, Deutsche Telekom AG and Vodafone Group Plc, joined on Wednesday to the casualties, also counting who are organizers and important advisors of the GSMA. They joined important exhibitors who registered before leaving as Nokia, Ericsson, LG, and Sony Corp.
Now the problem is economic for the GSMA and the city of Barcelona, which stopped receiving about $ 500 million ($ 543 million) for the most important telephone event in the world that brings together more than 100,000 attendees and about 2,800 companies participants.