Everyone by now heard of coronavirus because it’s a serious threat. It had an impact on the gaming industry as well starting with hardware and games delays to closing Chinese development studios to esports scenes. It was also the cause of delaying conferences like Taipei Game Show. Now the world’s largest trade show has joined the last part.
Mobile World Congress Has Been Cancelled
The world’s biggest phone trade fair known as MWC was going to start on 24 February in Barcelona. It was expecting more than 100,000 visitors from all the world, 200 countries to be exact. Now, this is not going to happen anymore, in a statement by GSMA CEO John Hoffman we knew that the coronavirus outbreak fears made the event “impossible” to hold.
“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. The Host City Parties respect and understand this decision.
On Wednesday, GSMA which is responsible for organizing the event admitted that more than forty companies decided to not attend Mobile World Congress Barcelona because of health and safety concerns/fears. Hoffman also said in his statement that “GSMA and the Host City Parties will continue to be working in unison and supporting each other for MWC Barcelona 2021 and future editions”. Then he added: “Our sympathies at this time are with those affected in China, and all around the world.”
Is this the right decision?
We can’t really know that but everyone knows it’s better to be safe than sorry. Coronavirus infection cases have passed 42,000 in China with a total of 1,000 confirmed death. The GSMA tried to take safety precautions on site and recommended the attendees to not shake hands and even banned visitors traveling from China. Now only time will tell what other big events will be canceled because of the outbreak.