NVIDIA, Sony, and Amazon Pull Out of MWC Over Coronavirus Concerns

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At the end of last week, we learned that NVIDIA had pulled out of MWC. This follows LG’s decision to do the same. Over the weekend, Amazon announced the same thing, followed by Sony. Now, the MWC 2020 field is looking very thin and we’re left wondering why the GSMA, the body that governs the event, is going forward with it.

According to a recent update from the GSMA, they are implementing a few additional checks to ensure the safety of attendees. For starters, all attendees from the Hubei province will not be permitted access. Following that, all attendees will need to check-off the following.

  • All travellers who have been in China will need to demonstrate proof they have been outside of China 14 days prior to the event (passport stamp, health certificate)
  • Temperature screening will be implemented
  • Attendees will need to self-certify they have not been in contact with anyone infected.

While I’m not a fan of “self-certify,” I suppose there really is only so much precaution you can take. We have to hope that no one will willfully put others at risk. Wait, these are humans we’re talking about, they absolutely would do that.

Here are the statements from the three latest companies to pull out of MWC. If you’re still attending, please stay safe and wash your hands!

NVIDIA’s Statement

We’ve informed GSMA, the organizers of MWC Barcelona, that we won’t be sending our employees to this year’s event.

Given public health risks around the coronavirus, ensuring the safety of our colleagues, partners and customers is our highest concern.

MWC Barcelona is one of the world’s most important technology conferences. We’ve been looking forward to sharing our work in AI, 5G and vRAN with the industry. We regret not attending, but believe this is the right decision.

We’re grateful for GSMA’s leadership and continued efforts to ensure the safety of all attendees.

Amazon’s Statement to TechCrunch

Due to the outbreak and continued concerns about novel coronavirus, Amazon will withdraw from exhibiting and participating in Mobile World Congress 2020, scheduled for Feb. 24-27 in Barcelona, Spain.

Sony’s Statement

Sony has been closely monitoring the evolving situation following the novel coronavirus outbreak, which was declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization on January 30th, 2020.

As we place the utmost importance on the safety and wellbeing of our customers, partners, media and employees, we have taken the difficult decision to withdraw from exhibiting and participating at MWC 2020 in Barcelona, Spain.

The Sony press conference will now instead take place at the scheduled time of 8:30am (CET) on February 24, 2020 as a video via our official Xperia YouTube channel to share our exciting product news.

Sony would like to thank everyone for their understanding and ongoing support during these challenging times.

// NVIDIA | Sony | TechCrunch | GSMA



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