The Swedish tech manufacturer Ericsson announced this Friday its decision to not attend the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2020, which takes place from February 24 to 27 in Barcelona. The company took this decision as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus, since they considers that they cannot guarantee the safety of their employees and visitors.
Ericsson followed LG in not attending MWC
The company becomes the second major international company that decides to withdraw from the event, after the Korean manufacturer LG Electronics announced last Tuesday that it will not attend, as a preventive measure against the outbreak of coronavirus. However, the Chinese brands Huawei and ZTE have confirmed their attendance although they will have less presence.
In a statement , Ericsson explains that, following the outbreak and the continued spread of the coronavirus, they have closely followed its development and adhered to the recommendations of international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO).
In this context, the Swedish company notes that they made a series of decisions to guarantee the health and safety of employees and minimize the impact that the coronavirus may have on its operations. “After an extensive internal risk assessment, Ericsson has decided to take more precautionary measures by withdrawing from MWC Barcelona,” they announced. Ericsson added that they appreciate that the GSMA, the event’s organizing body, has done “everything possible” to control the risk.
“It is very unfortunate, but we firmly believe that the most responsible commercial decision is to withdraw our participation from this year’s event,” says Börje Ekholm, president and CEO of the Swedish company.
No handshakes at the conference
The GSMA announced last Tuesday the implementation of preventive measures to avoid possible epidemic. The organization will launch a protocol that involves frequently changing the microphones of the speakers and suggests that attendees refrain from giving handshakes. In its statement, GSMA said the event will not be affected by the coronavirus and “will continue as planned” at all its venues.
On the other hand, the Chinese brands Huawei and Oppo have confirmed that they will be at the Barcelona event, although Huawei will decrease their participation and send less of their staff to the event.
Chinese people attending will maintain a period of isolation before the event
Huawei sources explain that “they still plan to participate”. Although the number of people attending the event will be reduced and instead more staff from Europe will attend MWC.
In any case, they indicated that Chinese personnel traveling to Barcelona will maintain a period of isolation before attending the congress, in addition to implementing strict precautionary and protective measures, such as body temperature tests.