Qualcomm has announced that it will skip the Mobile World Congress in-person show in Barcelona this year, making it the latest major company to announce that it will miss out on the potential COVID-19 superspreader event in June in favor of an online presence at the show. .
“While we appreciate the health and safety measures being taken by the GSMA for MWC Barcelona, we have decided it is in the best interest of our employees and customers that Qualcomm’s participation be virtual this year,” the company said in a statement. statement obtained by TechCrunch.
Qualcomm is by no means the only major company to opt for a digital performance at MWC this year: Google, Nokia, Ericsson, Sony and Oracle have all withdrawn from this year’s show, while Samsung and Lenovo have announced that they will also be attending. to be. digital instead of their traditional personal appearances.
MWC 2020 was one of the first major conferences to be closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the GSMA’s efforts to set up the show, even with rapidly increasing numbers of cases around the world and new travel restrictions.
The GSMA still insists on holding this year’s event with only a minimal COVID-19 mitigation policy, including asking participants to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival and planning for it. ‘controlling the crowds’ – neither expected to be enough to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at such a big event.
In 2020, MWC was only canceled after numerous large companies (such as LG, ZTE, Sony and Amazon) withdrew from the event. And while the GSMA has not yet given an indication that it wants to change its plans for this year’s show, the increasing number of exhibitors who won’t be attending could change that.