GSMA, the organizer of the Mobile World Congress (MWC), issued an official statement announcing that the 2020 Mobile World Congress, originally scheduled to be held in Barcelona, Spain at the end of February is now officially canceled due to the new coronavirus outbreak.
In an official statement, John Hoffman, President of GSMA, said that given the current global concerns about the outbreak of new coronavirus, travel concern and other circumstances, it is no longer possible to continue hosting this year’s Mobile World Congress.
According to earlier reports, GSMA was scheduled to make a final decision at this Friday’s regular meeting. However, following the successive withdrawal of major European telecommunications operators including Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, Nokia and British Telecom Group, the Board of Directors of GSMA held an emergency video conference on Wednesday to discuss optimal countermeasures.
In 2006, GMSA held the first Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. It is the world’s most important annual event in the mobile sector, attracting over 100,000 visitors to Barcelona annually. Last year’s MWC conference brought 14,000 temporary jobs and revenue of 490 million euros to city of Barcelona. It is estimated that the cancellation will be a heavy economic blow to the Spanish city.