ZTE and LG ditch Mobile World Congress over coronavirus fears

A ZTE sign is pictured at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Shanghai, China June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song

A ZTE sign is pictured at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Shanghai, China June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song

Two of the biggest names in consumer tech have announced they'll be avoiding this year's Mobile World Congress.

Citing public health concerns stemming from the recent coronavirus outbreak, ZTE and LG have cancelled their previously-planned press conferences at MWC 2020.

LG has gone so far as to withdraw from exhibiting and participating outright.

The South Korean company says that "this decision will prevent needlessly exposing hundreds of LG employees to international travel, which most health experts have advised."

"In lieu of its participation in MWC, LG will be holding separate events in the near future to announce its 2020 mobile products."

It's not yet clear if ZTE will have a presence on the showfloor despite the cancellation of their press conference. MWC 2019 saw them announce and show off their first 5G handset.

In an interview with The Verge, a spokesperson for ZTE cited secondary effects of the viral outbreak, for example visa delays, as the reason for the company's decision.

The GSMA, the organising body who run Mobile World Congress, have issued several statements in recent weeks in response to attendee concerns about coronavirus.

Their latest, issued earlier today, insists "there is minimal impact on the event thus far" and that things will go ahead as planned.

Mobile World Congress is currently set to take place in Barcelona from the 24th to the 27th of February.


 


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