Chinese tech giants ZTE and LG Electronics limit participation at MWC 2020 over Coronavirus fears

Published: 5 February 2020 - 8:40 a.m.

Chinese tech giant LG Electronics has confirmed that it has cancelled its plans to exhibit at MWC 2020 later this month, amid growing concerns over the spread of the Coronavirus. 5G network specialists, ZTE, has also announced that it will cancel its headline press conference at the event.

“With the safety of its employees, partners and customers foremost in mind, LG has decided to withdraw from exhibiting and participating in MWC 2020 later this month in Barcelona, Spain,” LG Electronics said in an online statement.

A spokesperson from ZTE told The Verge that the Shenzhen based company would not be taking part in its annual press conference at MWC this year, as a preventative measure.

“[We] tend to be an overly courteous company, and simply don’t want to make people uncomfortable,” the spokesperson told The Verge. ZTE has not yet commented further on its decision to pull out of the show.

Mobile World Congress 2020 is set to be one of the biggest events in the telecoms industry’s calendar this year, with over 110,000 exhibitors and attendees expected to flock to Barcelona for the show.

Earlier this week, the GSMA said it was stepping up efforts to mitigate against the spread of the disease at the event. In a statement published online, the GSMA pledged to carefully follow and adhere to all advice issued by the World Health Organisation, all applicable Chinese government recommendations as well as all Spanish health authority recommendations.

The Corona virus has so far infected 24,500 people, claiming the lives of 492 people. The vast majority of cases are located in mainland China but cases have been reported in 25 countries across the world, with fatalities in Hong Kong and the Philippines.

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