LG withdraws from participating in Mobile World Congress due to coronavirus
Firm decides not to take part in Barcelona event "with safety of its employees, partners and customers foremost in mind"
The South Korean electronics firm LG decided to withdraw from taking part in the Mobile World Congress, due to take place in Barcelona from February 24 to February 27, due to the coronavirus.
"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," reads an official statement published on Tuesday night.
"This decision removes the risk of exposing hundreds of LG employees to international travel which has already become more restrictive as the virus continues to spread across borders."
The statement reads that the company "is closely monitoring the situation related to the novel coronavirus outbreak," and says it will withdraw from MWC, and will hold separate events "in the near future" instead.
GSMA: "Minimal impact on MWC"
Also on Tuesday, GSMA, the organization hosting the MWC, issued a statement saying that "there is minimal impact" of the coronavirus on the event so far.
GSMA goes on to name some of the measure they are applying to avoid risks, such as "increased cleaning and disinfection programme across all high-volume touchpoints" and awareness campaigns.
GSMA confirmed few days ago that the event will take place despite the coronavirus.
Government rules cancellation out
The Minister for business, Angels Chacón, has ruled out cancelling the Mobile World Congress for the coronavirus epidemic.
Speaking to Catalunya Ràdio, she respected the decisions of companies that have said they will no longer participate in the mobile fair and said that the government had "taken all measures."
For Chacón, suspending events such as the Mobile World Congress would lead to "a country-by-country isolation policy". She also acknowledged that there could be customs implications, or that meetings may be suspended for precaution and that the effects need to be analyzed with time.
In addition, Chacón has criticized the "discrimination" towards the Chinese community and said that coronavirus can affect anyone.