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LG withdraws from MWC due to coronavirus outbreak

Saf Malik
February 5, 2020

Organisers GSMA note that the event will continue as planned

LG has announced it will not be at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona later this month because of concerns about coronavirus.

The South Korean company said in a statement released yesterday: “LG Electronics is closely monitoring the situation related to the novel coronavirus outbreak, which was recently declared a global emergency by the World Health Organisation as the virus continues to spread outside China.

“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.

In lieu of its participation in MWC, LG will be holding separate events in the near future to announce its 2020 mobile products.”

MWC organisers GSMA had earlier said that the show would go on as planned and would be implementing more aggressive hygiene measures around microphones and demo booths.

There were earlier reports that ZTE would also be missing the event. However, the Chinese company has since tweeted to clarify they will be attending.

In a statement given to Mobile News, a Huawei spokesperson confirmed they will still be at MWC despite the coronavirus outbreak: “As it stands we are still planning to participate, MWC events in London and Barcelona are due to go ahead. 

“We employ over 12,000 people in Europe, and those who have not been in China or had contact with those who have, are expected to take a much more prominent role in all MWC events.”

Forrester VP and Principal Thomas Husson said: “There are more than 6,000 Chinese delegates attending MWC and Chinese companies like Huawei, ZTE or China Telecom usually have a massive presence in Barcelona.

“Given the potential risks and the growing psychosis associated with the Coronavirus, it is likely many of them will not be able to attend.

“After LG’s withdrawal decision, more delegates will fear Chinese’s presence and other telecom vendors may withdraw from the trade show.

“Beyond MWC, there is a much bigger impact with the economic consequences of a shrinking Chinese tourism on luxury, retail and hospitality brands.”

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