Mobile World Congress 2018Source: Android Central

What you need to know

  • The GSMA body that organizes Mobile World Congress is reportedly meeting on February 14, 2020, to discuss canceling the conference.
  • Fears of the coronavirus outbreak have already caused many companies such as Amazon, LG, NVIDIA, Vivo, and more to drop out of the event.
  • MWC was expected to bring in over 110,000 attendees this year.

Each year the most influential names in the mobile industry head to Mobile World Congress to show off their latest tech and launch new products. However, leading up to the convention this year, many big-named companies have dropped out over fears of the coronavirus outbreak.

It seems as if every day we learn of a new company or companies that have decided to pull out of the event. So far, the lengthy list includes companies such as, Amazon, LG, NVIDIA, Sony, Vivo, and more. Just this morning, Intel and MediaTek joined the list by announcing plans to withdraw from MWC 2020 as well. With the event scheduled for the end of February, the list is sure to continue growing.

At this point, many are starting to wonder, why even have a Mobile World Congress at all? Without the presence of some of the biggest names in tech, it won't be much of a conference. Not to mention, many attendees may opt to stay home over fears of catching the coronavirus.

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In fact, there is a very real possibility MWC 2020 could be scrapped this year entirely. According to La Vanguardia, the GSMA body that organizes MWC will reportedly hold a meeting on February 14, 2020, to discuss whether or not Mobile World Congress should be canceled. However, the GSMA has not officially announced this and has no official comment on the meeting.

That's a big deal for a conference which hosted 109,000 visitors in 2019 coming from 198 different countries. In 2020, MWC was expecting to bring in even more visitors, with estimates of attendance exceeding over 110,000 this year. Canceling the convention would also lead to substantial financial losses estimated at 492 million euros or around $537 million.

However, with companies dropping out like flies and the risk of spreading the coronavirus further, MWC may have no choice but to cancel or reschedule for 2020.

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