The annual Mobile World Congress mobile communications show, which is held annually in Barcelona every February, has been canceled this year due to coronavirus concerns.
Despite reassurances from show organizers to exclude attendees and exhibitors from China's Hubei province, ground zero of the outbreak, the cancelation announcement comes after several major exhibitors withdrew from the mobile industry's largest event.
LG Electronics was first to announce it would pull out of the event due to concerns for its staff a week ago, subsequently followed by industry giants Ericsson, AT&T, Sprint, Cisco, Intel, and Nvidia.
Organized by the trade group GSMA, MWC was scheduled to take place February 24-27 in Barcelona, Spain. More than 100,000 people from around the world were expected to attend the popular show, this year poised to heavily feature 5G technologies.
Most users don't clean their phones.
Think about that the next time you are about to hold someone's phone to share a YouTube video.
A recent ZDNet Twitter outreach on how often folks disinfect their phones reported that 18.5% of users clean their phones weekly, 14% monthly. A surprising 60% admitted they never cleaned their mobile device. Only 7.4% inferred they would clean it after they have been sick.
A Vital Vio survey last year said 88% of people use their phones in the bathroom.
Here's the GSMA's official statement on the show closure:
"Since the first edition of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in 2006, the GSMA has convened the industry, governments, ministers, policymakers, operators and industry leaders across the broader ecosystem.
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 Host City Parties respect and understand this decision.
The GSMA and the Host City Parties will continue to be working in unison and supporting each other for MWC Barcelona 2021 and future editions.
Our sympathies at this time are with those affected in China, and all around the world."