Amazon bows out of MWC over coronavirus

Amazon has become the latest to withdraw from Mobile World Congress 2020 over coronavirus concerns, following in the footsteps of LG, Ericsson and Nvidia.

The steady stream of drop-outs and the increasing severity of safety measures introduced by the organiser have cast doubts over the viability of the renowned mobile show.

Since coronavirus was first identified in China’s Hubei province, over 40,000 infections have been confirmed and nearly 1,000 have lost their lives.

“Due to the outbreak and continued concerns about novel coronavirus, Amazon will withdraw from exhibiting and participating in Mobile World Congress 2020,” said an Amazon spokesperson.

Domino effect

In announcing its withdrawal, Amazon becomes the latest in a growing line of big players to pull out of the show.

Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson and South Korean electronics company LG both announced they would be dropping out of the show last week, followed in turn by chip manufacturer Nvidia. Meanwhile, ZTE has cancelled its scheduled press conference, but will go ahead with other activities.

GSMA, the organisation behind MWC, previously announced it expected the coronavirus outbreak to have no impact on the show. Since then, though, a number of safety measures have been put in place.

First, the organiser announced a no handshake policy, designed to prevent the spread of disease between visitors and exhibitors. It has now also banned all travellers from China’s Hubei province (the virus epicentre) from attending the show.

All travellers who have been in China will need to prove they have been outside China for at least fourteen days prior to the event. Attendees will also need to prove they have not been in contact with an infected individual.

Via TechCrunch

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