The spread of the coronavirus is causing some big changes for Mobile World Congress, scheduled to take place later this month.
LG announced this week that it is withdrawing from MWC. This includes any exhibiting at the show as well as any other kind of participation, meaning there won't be any new LG phones announced or on display at the show.
"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," LG explains.
"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."
In lieu of making any announcements at MWC, LG says that it plans to hold separate events to reveal its 2020 mobile devices.
ZTE has also decided to cancel its MWC press conference, but it's not pulling out of the event entirely. The company says that it will still have a booth at the show, and it's pledged to disinfect both the exhibition stand and the equipment every day.
#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. pic.twitter.com/vB9S4IpyZP
— ZTE Corporation (@ZTEPress) February 5, 2020
Other steps ZTE is taking to avoid the spread of the coronavirus includes ensuring that all employees from mainland China have no symptoms two weeks before departure and arrival at MWC. Senior executives that'll be holding meetings at the show will isolate themselves in Europe for at least two weeks before MWC, too, and ZTE will use booth presentation staff from countries outside of China and mainly from Europe.
Finally, the group that hosts MWC each year has put out its own statement regarding the coronavirus. The GSMA says that it's taking setps to mitigate the spread of the virus, including increasing cleaning and disinfection at high-volume touchpoints, offering sanitizing and disinfection materials , and recommending that attendees adopt a "no-handshake policy." Onsite medical support will be increased as well.
The GSMA also plans to raise awareness by giving training to staff and associates on standard personal preventative measures and running an awareness campaign online and onsite.