Coronavirus outbreak may cancel the world’s largest mobile technology event

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The Mobile World Congress, which takes place in Barcelona in late February, is the world’s biggest mobile technology event, with nearly all major phone producers holding conferences and announcing new products at the show.

Nevertheless, this year, not all are going correspondingly to plan because of the ongoing coronavirus crises. On Tuesday, Korea’s LG announced it won’t be taking participation in the MWC this year. 

“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. This decision removes the risk of exposing hundreds of LG employees to international travel which has already become more dangerous as the virus continues to extend across borders,” the statement on LG’s website said

LG said it would be holding separate events in the “near future,” where it will announce its mobile product lineup for 2020. 

It’s a fairly big blow for the MWC, where LG has traditionally had a steady presence, often benefiting to announce flagship phones during the show. 

But LG is not the only major company that’s quitting of the MWC. The Verge reported Tuesday that China’s ZTE has canceled its press conference as well. A company spokesperson told the outlet that ZTE tends to be “a highly courteous company” which doesn’t want to expose people to the danger.

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