Coronavirus LG Pulls Out Of Mobile World Congress


Coronavirus LG Pulls Out Of Mobile World Congress

LG has pulled out of one of the world’s biggest tech shows citing fears over the spread of coronavirus.

The South Korean tech firm has cancelled its appearance at Mobile World Congress (MWC), which is held every year in Barcelona.

MWC opens on 24 Feb and is the world’s largest mobile-focused tech expo.

China’s ZTE has also dropped plans for a press conference at the event due to the illness, but it will still host a stand.

Separately, Sony has said coronavirus could negatively affect production in its factories, which make components for Apple and Huawei products.

Telecommunications trade body the GSMA, MWC’s organisers, said of the virus yesterday: “There is minimal impact on the event thus far”. However, within hours, LG announced it was pulling out.

“With the safety of its employees and general public foremost in mind, LG has decided to withdraw from exhibiting and participating in MWC 2020 later this month in Barcelona, Spain,” LG said in a statement.

“This decision will prevent needlessly exposing hundreds of LG employees to international travel, which most health experts have advised.”

The firm added that it would hold “separate events in the near future” instead.

“You have to say it’s probably an entirely sensible response given the situation,” said Simon Forrest, tech analyst at Futuresource.

To date, there has been just one confirmed case of coronavirus in Spain.

No handshakes

“We have spoken to LG and regret not seeing them at this year’s MWC20 Barcelona,” a spokeswoman for the GSMA said.

She added that MWC was still due to proceed as planned.

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Previously, the GSMA organisation said it had taken extra precautions for this year’s conference, including putting in place a “no-handshake policy”, as well as increased cleaning and disinfection, and the provision of more sanitising materials for public use.

“They have to be taking this seriously,” said Mr Forrest, who is currently planning to attend MWC himself.

There was confusion after multiple tech sites reported that Chinese tech firm ZTE had followed LG and also pulled out of MWC.

Coronavirus LG Pulls Out Of Mobile World Congress


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