Facebook and Intel have announced to withdraw from Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona due to concerns over coronavirus. Facebook and Intel now join the league of big tech firms who will not participate in the world’s largest mobile event. The event is slated to take place between February 24 and 27. It is organized by the GSM Association which represents the interests of mobile network operators worldwide. More than 750 mobile operators are members of the GSMA. According to the Spanish media, the GSMA will meet on February 14 to decide whether to cancel the event entirely in view of the top tech giants’ decision to stay away.
Apart from Facebook and Intel, top tech companies who have already pulled out include Amazon, Sony, Ericsson, LG Electronics, and Nvidia. Other big brands are reviewing their plans to participate in the event. This includes many Chinese firms. Facebook in a statement said that evolving public health risks in the current situation were behind its decision to stay away from MWC. Intel said the safety and wellbeing of its partners and staff are the top priority and therefore it will not participate in the event. According to GSMA figure, more than 100,000 people attend the MWC every year of which 6,000 travel from China. The Asian country’s Wuhan city is considered the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.
Chinese tech giant Huawei said it was still planning about its participation and was reviewing the situation daily. Another Chinese company Vivo has announced to withdraw from the mega event. TCL, another mobile phone company based in China, has changed its plans for the MWC. It has canceled the MWC 2020 press conference due to concerns over coronavirus. The Chinese list of companies to drop out also include Royole. The company said it will announce its next device ahead of MWC. The US-based cyber-security firm McAfee has also decided to stay away. The companies that are still on board include Google, Microsoft, and Nokia.