Swedish tech giant, Ericsson, has confirmed that it will not attend this year’s MWC event in Barcelona, citing fears over the possible spread of the Coronavirus as its primary motivation.
Ericsson is one of the biggest supporters of Mobile World Congress and usually has an enormous presence at the event.
“The health and safety of our employees, customers and other stakeholders are our highest priority. This is not a decision we have taken lightly. We were looking forward to showcasing our latest innovations at MWC in Barcelona. It is very unfortunate, but we strongly believe the most responsible business decision is to withdraw our participation from this year’s event,” said Börje Ekholm, President and CEO, Ericsson.
MWC2020 is expected to attract aound 110,000 exhibitors and visitors and will easily be one of the biggest, if not the biggest, industry event this year. Last week the GSMA announced that it would be stepping up efforts to mitigate against the threat of contagion at the event.
“[We will provide] an increased cleaning and disinfection programme across all high-volume touchpoints, e.g. catering areas, surfaces, handrails, WCs, entrances/exits, public touch-screens, etc. along with the use of correct cleaning/sanitising materials and products.
“Increased onsite medical support. Awareness campaigns via online and onsite info-share and signage. Availability of sanitising and disinfection materials for public use.
"Awareness and training to all staff and associates on standard personal preventative measures, e.g. personal hygiene, frequency of use of sanitising/disinfection products, etc.
“Advice to exhibitors on implementing effective cleaning and disinfection of stands, offices along with guidance on personal hygiene measures and common preventive behaviour.
Last week, Chinese electronics firm LG Electronics announced that it would not be attending the show. Chinese telecoms equipment vendor, ZTE, also announced that it would be dramatically scalling down its presence at the event.