Coronavirus’ latest victim: Massive electronics show MWC

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Everyone who is anyone in mobile (except Apple) will be at Mobile World Congress 2018.
MWC Barcelona 2020 has been canceled.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Mobile World Congress 2020, the biggest annual trade show focused on smartphones, has been canceled.

News of the canceling comes less than two weeks before the event was supposed to open its doors in Barcelona, Spain where over 100,000 visitors and over 2,000 exhibitors from around the world were expected to attend.

MWC 2020 was set to be the 33rd edition of the event, taking place between February 24th until February 27. Exhibitors like Nokia, LG, Ericsson, Nvidia, Amazon, Sony, Intel, Cisco and Facebook had all pulled out of the show before GSMA CEO John Hoffman announced it was being canceled.

Apple wasn’t slated to attend the event which is generally focused on Android and other smartphones.

RIP MWC

“With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has canceled 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,” said Hoffman said in a statement to Bloomberg.

As of today, over 1,100 coronavirus-related deaths have been counted in China with over 40,000 infections. Concerns about the spread of the coronavirus have caused production to shut down at Apple suppliers’ factories.

MWC Barcelona 2020 was expected to heavily feature Chinese smartphone manufacturers. 5G smartphones were also supposed to make a strong showing. It was unlikely that any of the top-selling smartphones of 2020 were going to be unveiled during the show though.

Even though 2020 is a bust, there’s still next year. The GSMA and Host City Parties say they are supporting each other for MWC Barcelona 2021 and future editions.