Lenovo cancels its in-person participation at Mobile World Congress 2022

International event to be held in Barcelona from February 28 to March 3 despite Covid-19 situation

Visitors at the entrance to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in 2019 (by Laura Pous)
Visitors at the entrance to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in 2019 (by Laura Pous) / Guifré Jordan

Angus Clelland | Barcelona

January 26, 2022 03:13 PM

Chinese technology company Lenovo pulls its in-person participation at this year’s Mobile World Congress held from February 28 to March 3 in Barcelona's Fira Gran Via exhibition center.

The company announced on Twitter that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, "Lenovo’s activation at MWC 2022 will be fully virtual," reads the tweet.

Second major brand withdrawal

Earlier this January, Japanese company Sony, also announced their desire to pull their in-person participation at MWC22.

"Sony Corporation has taken the decision that it will not be holding its own booth at MWC 2022. As the world has greatly shifted towards digital and online opportunities, Sony Corporation will communicate in ways that can deliver our exciting product news to a wider audience," the company said in a statement afterwards.

Sony was one of the first companies to pull out of MWC20 as the Covid-19 pandemic began to grip the world and the event was canceled.

MWC despite Covid-19 situation

The trade show, focused on the wireless technology industry, was confirmed earlier this month to take place on the dates originally planned despite the sixth wave of the health crisis.

The organization "would only consider a change of plans" if it were a decision by the health authorities, as stated by John Hoffman, organizer GSMA's CEO.

Meanwhile, Catalan vice president and minister for digital policies, Jordi Puigneró hoped on January 12 that organizers understand that the "Covid-19 pandemic situation will be better and the sixth wave will have already reached its peak."

And Barcelona deputy mayor Jaume Collboni announced on January 18 that MWC "will be a success" as there are over 10,000 hotel rooms booked in the city. 10 times more than those booked during the last edition held in June.

The world's largest fair for the mobile industry, which is held annually in the Catalan capital, Mobile World Congress welcomed some 2,400 exhibitors and 109,000 visitors from more than 200 different countries in its 2019 edition.

After the cancellation in 2020, the trade show held a scaled-down edition in 2021, with 20,000 in-person attendants.