UPDATE: Feb. 12, 2020, 3:26 p.m. CET Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom have also announced their withdrawal from the conference.
Six more major companies have announced their withdrawal from this year’s Mobile World Congress, scheduled to take place in Barcelona, Feb. 24-27.
Facebook, Sprint, Cisco, AT&T, BT and Nokia have all canceled their plans for the conference, citing health risks due to the ongoing Covid-19 virus outbreak.
HMD Global, which owns the Nokia brand, is the latest to cancel. On Wednesday, the company informed Mashable in an emailed statement that it decided to cancel “after much deliberation.”
“The health and safety of our employees, customers, and stakeholders is our highest priority,” read the statement.
Statements from other companies that have canceled echo a similar sentiment. Most of them have completely withdrawn from the conference, meaning they won’t have an official presence at the event at all.
These four companies join a pretty long list of those who have fully or partially withdrawn from MWC 2020, including Amazon, Ericsson, LG, Nvidia, Sony, TCL, and ZTE.
Mobile World Congress Barcelona is a massive annual event with a typical attendance of more than 100,000 people. As of this writing, GSMA, which organizes the MWC, insists that the conference is still on. The organization has implemented a set of stringent safety measures to curb the Covid-19 threat. Spanish outlet La Vanguardia claims that the GSMA will hold a meeting on Friday to decide whether to go forward with this year’s MWC or cancel it altogether.
The Covid-19 virus outbreak, which originated in Wuhan, China, has so far killed more than 1,100 and infected more than 45,000 people.