"We believe the prudent decision is to cancel our participation at Mobile World Congress. Thanks to the GSMA, the governments of China and Spain as well as Catalonia's Generalitat, and many others who have worked tirelessly to address the challenges resulting from the novel coronavirus".
A spokesperson for Facebook said, "Out of an abundance of caution, Facebook employees won't be attending this year's Mobile World Congress due to the evolving public health risks related to coronavirus".
It has been reported that the GSMA will make a decision this Friday to determine if this year's MWC will be canceled.
Over the past couple of weeks, companies have been cancelling their MWC or pre-MWC events amidst fears over the coronavirus.More news: FDA Now Allowing Treatment of Coronavirus Using Plasma From Recovered Patients
Sony's departure from MWC leaves a pretty big hole in the event's schedule.
Here's an excerpt from the Finnish company's official statement: "MWC Barcelona has always been a key event in our annual calendar and we were very excited to showcase our new products to our partners, customers, media and fans". Sony says its press conference will still be on, but that it will be a video-only event hosted on its Xperia YouTube channel.
The event, which is the telecom industry's biggest get-together, is scheduled to take place from February 24 to 27.
In a statement emailed to TechCrunch, an Amazon spokesperson said "due to the outbreak and continued concerns about novel coronavirus, Amazon will withdraw from exhibiting and participating in Mobile World Congress 2020, scheduled for February 24-27 in Barcelona, Spain". The organization overseeing the event may decide to go on but introduce extra measures to protect attendees. The organizer originally expected more than 100,000 visitors and more than 2800 exhibitors this year. The GSMA will not allow travelers from China's Hubei province to attend the event, and anyone traveling from China will need to provide proof that they've been out of the country for 14 days prior to MWC.More news: United Kingdom will have coronavirus testing kits ready in days, health official says
MWC's cancelation will surely affect the business that companies planned to conduct during the event.
Here's a list of who's dropped out or scaled back their presence at MWC 2020.
He concluded his statement by stating that canceling MWC 2020 will also reduce the risk of disease outbreak in the host city Barcelona.More news: Messi thanked by hospital for 1 million donation