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LG and ZTE pull out due to coronavirus threat

MWC 2020 is still going to go forward in late February in Barcelona, Spain. However, at least two major smartphone companies have announced they will not be attending the trade show due to the current coronavirus threat.

In a press release sent to media outlets, LG announced that, due to safety concerns of the coronavirus outbreak on the company’s employees and the general public, it has decided to withdraw from exhibiting and participating in MWC 2020. LG said its decision will “prevent needlessly exposing hundreds of LG employees to international travel, which most health experts have advised.” It added that it plans to reveal its 2020 smartphone plans in separate events in the near future.

LG was expected to reveal the LG V60 ThinQ with a secondary display, along with the LG G9 ThinQ during MWC 2020.

In a statement sent to The Verge, ZTE also confirmed that it will not be holding a press event during MWC 2020. Part of the reason for this decision, according to a company spokesperson, was because some  ZTE employees were already contending with visa and travel delays to Barcelona. The spokesperson added that ZTE tends “to be an overly courteous company, and simply don’t want to make people uncomfortable.”

Despite these two companies pulling out of the show, the GSM Association, the organizers of MWC, are moving forward with the trade show. In a statement today, the GSMA stated it is taking extra precautions for attendees when it comes to the coronavirus threat. That includes an increase in cleaning and disinfecting areas of the trade show, including catering areas, surfaces, handrails, bathrooms, entrances/exits, etc. It will also have an increase in medical support, more signage to alert attendees on the health threat, and even asking people to adopt a “no handshake” policy while at MWC 2020.

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