LG Electronics to skip Mobile World Congress 2020 over Coronavirus concerns

Hemani Sheth | Updated on February 05, 2020 Published on February 05, 2020

The decision was made to prevent the risk that LG employees might face during international travel.(File photo)   -  BusinessLine

Flagship LG devices expected to be unveiled at the event will be launched later, the company said

LG Electronics has cancelled its plans to attend the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2020 due to risks related to the Coronavirus outbreak.

MWC, the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry, is to be held in Barcelona from 24-27 February.

“LG Electronics is closely monitoring the situation related to the novel coronavirus outbreak, which was recently declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization as the virus continues to spread outside China,” the company had said in an official press statement issued from its headquarters in Seoul. “With the safety of its employees, partners and customers foremost in mind, LG has decided to withdraw from exhibiting and participating in MWC 2020 later this month in Barcelona, Spain,” it added.

The decision was made to prevent the risk that LG employees might face during international travel, which is already quite restrictive “as the virus continues to spread across borders,” the company clarified.

Many airlines across the US, Europe and Asia have temporarily suspended operations to mainland China, Hong Kong and neighbouring countries such as Singapore and Thailand due to the outbreak.

Launch of devices

LG was supposed to announce this year’s flagship devices at MWC 2020. The electronics company was likely to unveil two of its flagship devices -- LG V60 ThinQ and the LG G9 ThinQ -- at the event, XDA developers had reported.

LG will hold a separate event to introduce its latest products in the coming future.

“In lieu of its participation in MWC, LG will be holding separate events in the near future to announce its 2020 mobile products,” the company said.

Earlier, media reports had surfaced suggesting that ZTE, following LG’s announcement, will also be skipping MWC 2020 due to health risks. The company later released an official statement clarifying that it will be attending the event as planned, and take all necessary precautionary measures for safety.

“#ZTE will participate in #MWC20 Barcelona as planned, showcasing comprehensive #5G end-to-end solutions and a wide variety of 5G devices. ZTE's booth is in 3F30, Hall 3, FIRA GRAN VIA,” the company had tweeted.

MW 2020 organiser GSMA had released an official statement on Tuesday confirming that the event will be held in Barcelona as planned and all necessary measures to curb the spreading of the virus will be taken.

“The GSMA is building on its existing plans to protect the health of our attendees, clients and staff at MWC Barcelona. GSMA colleagues around the world are taking strong measures to contain and lessen any further spread of the virus.  These measures include adhering to advice from the WHO and other health authorities, respecting travel restrictions where they exist, arriving early in Spain to allow time for self-quarantine and ensuring access to masks,” it said

Major tech giants including Apple, Google and Facebook have temporarily restricted operations in China, the epicentre of the Coronavirus outbreak, due to health concerns for employees. Over 20,000 confirmed cases of the virus have been reported so far worldwide.

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Published on February 05, 2020
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