China’s Huawei Technologies said on Wednesday it still planned to hold events around the forthcoming Mobile World Congress, a telecoms industry gathering that draws more than 100,000 visitors to Barcelona.
“We are keeping a close eye on matters and having to internally adjust accordingly and responsibly,” a spokesman said after South Korea’s LG Electronics pulled out due to the coronavirus outbreak that originated in China.
“As it stands, London and Barca events still planned. But … things are changing constantly.”
Huawei, the world’s top supplier of telecoms equipment and No. 2 smartphone maker, is a big exhibitor at the event organised by the GSMA industry group.
GSMA said on Tuesday that the Mobile World Congress, being held on February 24-27, would go ahead. It said it had implemented many measures to help mitigate the spread of the virus and is continuing to add other actions regularly. These measures included increased cleaning and disinfection programme across all high-volume touchpoints; increased onsite medical support; availability of sanitising and disinfection materials for public use, as well as communicating advice to all attendees to adopt a ‘no-handshake policy’.
LG in its statement announcing its withdrawal from MWC 2020, said, “With the safety of its employees and general public foremost in mind, LG has decided to withdraw from exhibiting and participating in MWC 2020 later this month in Barcelona, Spain. This decision will prevent needlessly exposing hundreds of LG employees to international travel, which most health experts have advised,” the company said in a statement. LG will host separate events in the near future to announce its 2020 mobile products.