Due to the outbreak and continued concerns about the new coronavirus, Amazon will withdraw from exhibiting and participating in Mobile World Congress 2020.
Amazon had planned a significant presence through its cloud computing arm AWS, which was due to host a full-day conference track on the first day of the event.
Despite concerns, the organisers of the event state the event which hosts 100,000 people will still go ahead.
However, other companies are also taking precautions of not attending. South Korea’s LG Electronics, Ericsson, the Swedish telecoms equipment maker and US chip company NVIDIA have already withdrawn from the conference which runs between 24-27 February.
The organisers state that additional measures have been put in place to “reassure attendees and exhibitors that their health and safety are our paramount concern”.
No visitors from Chinas Hubei province, the origin of the outbreak, will be allowed to attend. Other visitors from China will be required to prove they have been outside the country for two weeks prior to the event.
Typically, the event attracts 5,000-6,000 visitors from China, where companies spend millions on stands and hospitality.
China companies Huawei [HWT.UL] and ZTE have confirmed they will still attend the event ordering China staff to self-isolate before the event to ensure they are not ill with the coronavirus. The companies will also be drafting European staff to take the place of staff members who cannot travel.
It has also been suggested that participants at the event should not shake hands with anyone and the microphones used by speakers will be changed regularly and disinfected.
Other large tech trade fairs have also been affected with many postponed or affected by travel curbs. One example is the Singapore Airshow that has seen major firms pull out of the event. These types of disruptions and cancellations are potentially disrupting billions of dollars’ worth of deals.
The coronavirus is now having a wider effect, the Chinese market falling amidst the outbreak, many now wonder about the economic cost of the coronavirus as it continues to cripple China.
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