Amazon.com, TCL, NTT Docomo and Sony will not attend this month’s Mobile World Congress because of the coronavirus outbreak, in another blow to one of the telecom industry’s biggest gatherings.
“Due to the outbreak and continued concerns about the new coronavirus, Amazon will withdraw from exhibiting and participating in Mobile World Congress 2020,” the company said in a statement on Sunday.
Amazon had planned a significant presence through its cloud computing arm AWS, which was due to host a full-day conference track on the first day of the event.
The online retailer is the fourth company to pull out of the annual gathering this week, following LG Electronics, Ericsson and U.S. chipmaker Nvidia.
The Feb. 24-27 event will go ahead as planned, the GSMA telecoms industry association, which runs the Congress, confirmed in a statement on Sunday before Amazon said it was pulling out, adding that they would tighten health precautions to guard against the coronavirus outbreak.
Sony has also canceled its presence at Mobile World Congress 2020 due to the new coronavirus outbreak. Here is what Sony said:
"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."
Japan’s largest wireless carrier, NTT Docomo also on Monday said it would not attend this year’s event.
NTT said in a statement that it had withdrawn after taking into consideration the safety of its customer, partners and staff. It did not immediately confirm whether its chief executive, Kazuhiro Yoshizawa, would continue as a speaker in the main opening keynote panel of the conference.
TCL on Monday also changed its plans for the MWC 2020 trade show amid worries about the coronavirus.
The Shenzhen, China-based company has canceled its Feb. 22 press conference at the Barcelona, Spain, show "out of an abundance of caution and care for our staff, customers, press and other guests," it said. TCL, which makes Alcatel and BlackBerry phones, still will attend MWC, and the decision doesn't change any of its other activities. It still plans to unveil its latest mobile devices and showcase them at its booth in the Fira Gran Via convention center in Barcelona.