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February 11, 2020

McAfee withdraws from MWC 2020 over coronavirus concerns

By Lucy Ingham

Cybersecurity company McAfee has become the latest organisation to call off attending Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona 2020 over concerns relating to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

A representative told Verdict in an email that McAfee had decided to cancel its attendance at MWC, citing health and safety concerns over the coronavirus.

“As with any exhibit, our first priority is the health and safety of both our employees and partners,” said the company spokesperson.

“Due to our continued concerns about novel coronavirus, McAfee has decided to withdraw from exhibiting and participating in Mobile World Congress 2020.”

McAfee joins growing list of companies to cancel MWC attendance over coronavirus

The antivirus giant, which had been set to exhibit, has joined a growing list of companies that have opted to cancel attending the conference, which is the largest mobile event in the world.

Others to have pulled out of MWC include LG, Amazon and Ericsson. However, others, including Chinese technology giant Huawei have said they still plan to attend and take additional safety precautions.

The growing list is casting increasing doubts over this year’s event, despite the fact that MWC organiser GSMA has introduced exhaustive procedures to ensure attendees’ safety.

These include banning attendees travelling from China’s Hubei province, asking all those who have travelled from China to prove they have been outside the country for at least 14 days and implementing temperature screening.

The organisers also plan to have increased screening and disinfection of high-traffic areas.

Despite deciding not to attend MWC due to the coronavirus this year, McAfee has a longstanding presence at the conference.

McAfee’s former CEO, Christopher Young, gave a keynote speech at MWC 2018, while in 2019 the company extended its partnership with Samsung to protect Galaxy S10 smartphones, as well as strengthened a partnership with Türk Telekom.

Read more: MWC coronavirus cancellations: The companies that have withdrawn so far