After LG backed out of Mobile World Congress, it’s Ericsson’s turn to listen to their employees’ concern regarding the coronavirus and stay home.
Despite preparing demos and special content for the world’s biggest mobile show, Ericsson has decided to not participate in the event amidst coronavirus fears.
“The health and safety of our employees, customers and other stakeholders are our highest priority,” explained President and CEO of Ericsson Börje Ekholm. “This is not a decision we have taken lightly. We were looking forward to showcasing our latest innovations at MWC in Barcelona. It is very unfortunate, but we strongly believe the most responsible business decision is to withdraw our participation from this year’s event.”
All the announcements prepared for the MWC will happen at a later date, i the home market, during invitation-based “Ericsson Unboxed” events.
Ericsson’s decision to sit this one out comes just a couple of days after LG announced it was going to be a no-show. Their booth is easily one of the most impressive at MWC, yet the company was adamant that the wellbeing of their employees came first.
“This decision will prevent needlessly exposing hundreds of LG employees to international travel, which most health experts have advised,” LG said.
Is this just the beginning? Will more companies abandon their plans until the coronavirus is contained? That’s everyone’s question these days, especially after seeing companies like Apple and Nintendo forced to delay shipments or close the offices altogether for a period of time.
Until now, the coronavirus has been responsible for the death of 638 people, which made the World Health Organization declare it a public health emergency. The virus originated from Wuhan, China, but has already spread to dozens of countries, which is why travelling has been restricted and big gatherings, like Mobile World Congress, remain a cause of concern.
Unless GSMA postpones the event altogether, MWC 2020 will take place in Barcelona, between February 24 – 27. The exhibitors and attendees that will come together there will count on the organization’s “reinforced on-site first aid facilities”, face masks and “sanitising and disinfection materials for public use”. However, there will be no health screenings.
Stay tuned – we will keep updating the story with more information regarding companies’ MWC attendance.