Mobile World Congress is the event the world — or at least, our particularly nerdy corner of it — looks to for annual updates in smartphones, networking technology and more. This year, as concerns over a growing coronavirus outbreak continue to mount, LG has decided that the Barcelona-based trade show isn’t worth the risk.
“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,” a statement emailed to reporters said. “This decision will prevent needlessly exposing hundreds of LG employees to international travel, which most health experts have advised.”
The show, which officially begins on February 24th, plays host to thousands of attendees each year, many of which come on behalf of Chinese companies. So far, LG is the first major company we’re aware to pull out of Mobile World Congress entirely, though at least one other has drastically altered its plans for the show. A spokesperson confirmed this afternoon that China-based ZTE — which has been lying low since the United States lifted an export ban in July 2018 — will not be holding its usual, on-site press conference.