Mobile World Congress, arguably the world’s most important tech trade show, is officially canceled this year.
The event’s organizers, GSMA, announced the news this afternoon—less than two weeks before the doors were set to open for MWC 2020—citing concerns over the coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China.
GSMA wrote, “With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has cancelled MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event.” At this time, the WMC 2020 website is still up and advertising the conference.
Days earlier, the trade group said the event would “proceed as planned” and announced a series “health and safety measures,” which included restrictions on travelers coming from China, an “increased cleaning and disinfection programme,” double the onsite medical support, and temperature screenings. Meanwhile, some of the big names that the conference depends on to draw attendees—such as Sony, LG, Facebook, AT&T, Nokia, and Cisco—were pulling out of the show.
Fast Company has reached out to GSMA to find out whether the conference will issue refunds for tickets. In a press release, GSMA indicated it would continue producing future events, including MWC Barcelona 2021.
This story is developing . . .