Facebook is following a long list of companies that withdrew from the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona later this month.
Sony, Amazon, Intel, Ericsson, LG, and Nvidia all suspended their activities due to the world’s coronavirus scare. “Out of an abundance of caution, Facebook employees won’t be attending this year’s Mobile World Congress due to the evolving public health risks related to coronavirus.
“We will continue to collaborate with the GSMA and our partners and thank them for their efforts.” a Facebook representative said on Tuesday. Facebook’s presence at MWC wasn’t very significant in the past few years, Mark Zuckerberg hasn’t made an appearance recently, but he been a keynote speaker in the past. The company usually focuses on engineering and infrastructure projects designed to improve connectivity in developing countries and hasn’t used the event for launching any flagship products.
The GSMA, which is running the MWC, has put extra measures in place, like having additional medical personnel on-site, temperature checks and a no-handshake policy. Also, organizers require attendees who have passed through China to show proof they have been outside the country for 14 days and have banned any travelers from China’s Hubei province, where the virus was first recorded.
Companies that canceled their appearance and were due to make announcements at the show will still hold launch events, but not in Barcelona.
Sony is live streaming the unveil of Xperia and Ericsson will have local Unboxed events to present what it would have at the WMC.