Intel has joined the list of companies that will not attend this year's edition of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. "The safety and well-being of all our employees and partners is our top priority, and we have withdrawn from this year's Mobile World Congress as a precaution," the company said in a statement, adding up the cancellations of other technology giants. like Ericsson, Amazon, Sony, LG, Umidigi, Nvidia, NTT Docomo, Gigaset and Vivo. This last retreat, plus that of the Chinese Live last night, may have given the final thrust to the event. GSMA, the organizer of the Mobile World Congress, will meet this Friday to decide whether or not to cancel the telephony congress before this cascade of casualties of companies participating in the coronavirus.
Despite calls for calm from both the Central Executive and the Catalan Generalitat, the virus crown continues to put MWC on the ropes. The statements of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, EU and Cooperation, Arancha González Laya, of the Minister of Digital Policies, Jordi Puigneró, and of the President of the Generalitat, Quim Torra, have not served any purpose to contain the stampede of participants. His message "we cannot allow the fear virus to be inoculated" has not been effective and on Friday it will be decided if it is finally canceled.
Fifteen days after the start of the biggest technological event in the world, which is also the most important business congress, the list of companies that have announced that they will not travel to Barcelona for fear of a spread of the coronavirus continues to grow and, if it is finally celebrated, it will do so with a low profile, which will prevent breaking the record that the organization had planned for this edition to exceed 109,000 attendees in 2019. In addition, the real figure of the economic impact will have to be recalculated very much the low The withdrawal of these signatures will have to be reevaluated, since while the Amazon multinational has a smaller presence, the absence of the Swedish Ericsson, the South Korean LG, the American Intel, the live Chinese and the Japanese Sony are already major words. The last MWC generated 473 million euros for the city, while more than 14,000 part-time jobs were created that especially benefited the local economy, figures that will be impossible to repeat this year if it finally moves forward.
In the fairground of Hospitalet de Llobregat and in the Maria Cristina avenue of Barcelona, the MWC were planned up to 3,000 exhibitors, while the associated events, 4YFN -showers of startups- and Yomo -festival for students and teachers-, had to bring together 25,000 and 30,000 people, respectively. Of them, up to 6,000 were from China, a figure that will be drastically reduced.
The measures that GSMA has announced to control any problem have fallen into a broken sack. Although it will not allow access to the fair for travelers coming from the Chinese province of Hubei, that all those arriving from the Asian country must show that they have been out 14 days before, and that they will carry out temperature controls, they have not convinced to some of the giants of the sector. Sources of the organization fear that if one or two more casualties of a large company occur, the event has signed its death sentence this year. The answer, Friday.