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Ericsson withdraws from MWC 2020 amid coronavirus worries

Jasper Hart
February 7, 2020

Products intended to be showcased will be at regional “Unboxed” shows

Update: In response to Ericsson’s withdrawal, the GSMA has reaffirmed that MWC will continue as planned.

In a statement, the GSMA wrote: “The GSMA regrets to see Ericsson’s decision not to attend MWC Barcelona this year as they are an important player in our ecosystem.

“Ericsson’s cancellation will have some impact on our presence at this time and will potentially have further impact. The GSMA continues to monitor and assess the potential impact of the Coronavirus on MWC Barcelona 2020 as the health and safety of our exhibitors, attendees and staff are of paramount importance. MWC Barcelona 24-27 February 2020, will proceed as planned, across all venues at Fira Gran Via Fira Montjuïc and La Farga L’Hospitalet, including YoMo and Four Years From Now (4YFN).”

The industry body added that it has implemented “extensive “additional health measures” for the event.

Original: Ericsson has become the second company to officially withdraw from this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC), citing the global spread of the coronavirus.

The vendor follows in the footsteps of LG, who announced its withdrawal from the event earlier this week.

ZTE confirmed it would be attending, after there were reports that it had also pulled out.

In a statement, Ericsson said: “After an extensive internal risk assessment, Ericsson has decided to take further precautionary measures by withdrawing from MWC Barcelona 2020, the largest event in the telecom industry.

“Ericsson appreciates that GSMA have done everything they can to control the risk. However, as one of the largest exhibitors, Ericsson has thousands of visitors in its hall each day and even if the risk is low, the company cannot guarantee the health and safety of its employees and visitors.”

Ericsson CEO Börje Ekholm added: “The health and safety of our employees, customers and other stakeholders are our highest priority. This is not a decision we have taken lightly. We were looking forward to showcasing our latest innovations at MWC in Barcelona. It is very unfortunate, but we strongly believe the most responsible business decision is to withdraw our participation from this year’s event.”

Ericsson is planning to showcase the products it intended to reveal at MWC at regional events later in the year called “Ericsson Unboxed”.

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