Qualcomm has announced that it will skip Mobile World Congressâ€™ in-person show in Barcelona this year, making it the latest major company to announce that it will miss the potential COVID-19 superspreader event in June in favor of an online presence at the show.
â€śWhile we appreciate the health and safety measures being put into place by the GSMA for MWC Barcelona, we have decided that it is in the best interest of our employees and customers for Qualcommâ€™s participation to be virtual this year,â€ť the company said in a statement obtained by TechCrunch.
Qualcomm is by no means the only major company opting for a digital appearance at MWC this year: Google, Nokia, Ericsson, Sony, and Oracle have all pulled out of this yearâ€™s show entirely, while Samsung and Lenovo have announced that they will also attend digitally instead of their traditional in-person appearances.
MWC insists on holding potential COVID-19 superspreader event in Barcelona
MWC 2020 was one of the first major conferences to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the GSMAâ€™s attempts to try to put on the show, even with rapidly increasing case numbers around the world and new travel restrictions.
The GSMA is still insisting on holding this yearâ€™s event with only minimal COVID-19 mitigation policies, including asking attendees to have had a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their arrival and plans for â€ścontrolling crowd densityâ€ť â€” neither of which is expected to be enough to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at an event this large.
In 2020, MWC was only canceled after numerous major companies (like LG, ZTE, Sony, and Amazon) pulled out of the event. And while the GSMA has given no indication that itâ€™ll be looking to adjust its plans for this yearâ€™s show yet, itâ€™s possible the increasing number of exhibitors that wonâ€™t be attending could change that.