Following the withdrawal of many high-profile companies, it's been announced that MWC 2020 has been officially canceled.
The news was confirmed by John Hoffman, CEO of GSMA, the group responsible for MWC. Bloomberg reports that Hoffman has said the coronavirus outbreak has made it "impossible" to hold MWC 2020 as scheduled.
MWC 2020 was originally set to take place February 24-27 in Barcelona, Spain. The conference is one of the biggest mobile events of the year, with companies from all over the world making announcements and showing off their wares.
This year, though, many major companies announced that they would be reducing their presence at MWC or withdrawing from the show entirely over concerns about the coronavirus. LG said last week that it was pulling out of the show, and then other big names like Amazon, Sony, NVIDIA, AT&T, Sprint, Facebook, Intel, and MediaTek all withdrew as well.
Some companies did commit to attending MWC. Xiaomi and Huawei both said that they'd be attending the show, and TCL told us that while it was canceling its press conference, it would still be exhibiting products at MWC.
Despite those commitments, the number of companies withdrawing from MWC 2020 likely became too much for the GSMA. The show was set to be considerably smaller than normal because several major companies had pulled out, and with nearly two weeks still to go before MWC actually begins, it's entirely possible that even more big names would've withdrawn.
The cancellation of MWC 2020 is definitely a big deal because, as mentioned before, it's one of the biggest mobile shows of the year. That doesn't mean that we won't be getting new phones announcements in the coming weeks, though, because we're sure that at least some companies that were planning to make news as the show will instead just announce new products on their own. Sony, for example, has said that it will still hold its planned press conference, but it'll do it on YouTube.
UPDATE: The GSMA has now released an official statement on MWC 2020's cancellation.
"With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has cancelled MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event."
The GSMA also says in its statement that it plans on bringing MWC back in 2021.