Amazon, NVIDA, Sony, Viavi drop out of MWC

Amazon, NVIDA, Sony, Viavi drop out of MWC

10 February 2020 | Natalie Bannerman

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Amazon, NVIDA and Viavi have become the latest names to pull out of attending Mobile World Congress 2020.

Due to growing concerns of the coronavirus, all three companies have decided not to attend the flagship telecoms event which brings together more than 100,000 visitors each year to Barcelona.

In a statement Amazon said: “Due to the outbreak and continued concerns about the new coronavirus, Amazon will withdraw from exhibiting and participating in Mobile World Congress 2020.”

As for US technology vendor NVIDA, it said: "Given public health risks around the coronavirus, ensuring the safety of our colleagues, partners and customers is our highest concern. MWC Barcelona is one of the world’s most important technology conferences. We’ve been looking forward to sharing our work in AI, 5G and vRAN with the industry. We regret not attending but believe this is the right decision."

While network test, measurement and assurance company Viavi Solutions said: "After reviewing all available data, VIAVI has chosen to cancel participation in this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona out of an abundance of caution and concern for our employees, customers and partners. VIAVI remains excited about its powerful suite of 5G solutions."

And lastly Sony took to its website saying: “Sony has been closely monitoring the evolving situation following the novel coronavirus outbreak, which was declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization on January 30th, 2020. As we place the utmost importance on the safety and wellbeing of our customers, partners, media and employees, we have taken the difficult decision to withdraw from exhibiting and participating at MWC 2020 in Barcelona, Spain.”

The news comes as the fall out surrounding MWC only continues to grow. Earlier this month Ericsson also announced that it would not be attending the event. Börje Ekholm, the company’s president and CEO said: “The health and safety of our employees, customers and other stakeholders are our highest priority. This is not a decision we have taken lightly.”

Speaking exclusively to Capacity, Barry French, chief marketing officer and executive VP for marketing and corporate affairs at Finnish company Nokia, although not confirming that it wasn’t attending MWC said that the company had “Not made a decision yet.”

South Korean company LG Electronics also confirmed that it would not take part in MWC because of coronavirus worries.

Additionally, Chinese vendors ZTE and Huawei said that they would be taking extra precautions around the event putting its senior executives into two weeks’ quarantine in Europe before attending MWC.

But it’s not just MWC that the coronavirus has affected, the Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) event in Amsterdam also suffered the fall out of LG Electronics and German Light Products (GLP) due to concerns around the virus and international travel.

AAAI, one of the larger artificial intelligence conferences in New York saw its numbers drop as hundreds of leading Chinese researchers were unable to attend due to travel restrictions.