Nokia and Deutsche Telekom became the latest big name companies to pull out of this month’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Telecoms equipment maker Nokia said it believed it was a “prudent decision” to cancel its participation.
“Nokia plans to go directly to customers with a series of “Nokia Live” events aimed at showcasing the industry-leading demos and launches scheduled for MWC,” the Finnish company said in a statement, setting out its alternative plans.
Chipmaker STMicroelectronics also joined the list of absentees on Wednesday, scheduled to take place on Feb. 24-27.
Meanwhile, ZTE and TCL canceled their press conferences. Huawei and Oppo plan to quarantine their executives for 14 days before MWC starts, and Oppo will check the temperature of every person attending its events. Samsung, the world's biggest phone maker, plans to pare back its presence and will send fewer executives from places like the US and Korea.
French telecoms group Orange has also decided to pull out of the Mobile World Congress event. according to reports.
Despite the spate of withdrawals - and BT, AT&T, Cisco, Facebook, Intel, Sony, Amazon, LG, Vivo, Ericsson, Sprint, Nvidia, HMD Global - the GSMA has so far stood by its line that the event will go ahead. However, the GSMA board, comprising industry executives, will convene on Friday to review its options.
The Spanish health officials said on Wednesday there was no reason to cancel the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona over coronavirus fears.
The assurance came after pressure on Spanish authorities to declare that holding the event in Barcelona would pose a public health risk, which could potentially in turn trigger a payout on any event insurance taken out by the organizers.