Amazon has announced that it will not be attending Mobile World Congress later this month over coronavirus fears, becoming the latest big name to drop out of the event.
The number of novel coronavirus cases worldwide has reached over 40,000 with the total number of recorded deaths in China now at 908. In the UK, eight people have been infected with the virus.
In a statement, sent to TechCrunch, Amazon said that “due to the outbreak and continued concerns about novel coronavirus, Amazon will withdraw from exhibiting and participating in Mobile World Congress 2020”.
Mobile World Congress is the largest exhibition for the mobile industry and is due to take place in Barcelona from 24-27 February 2020. Last year, more than 109,000 people from 198 countries and territories attended the event.
Last week, telecommunications giant Ericsson said that it was also pulling out of Mobile World Congress because it was unable to “guarantee the health and safety of its employees and visitors”.
South Korean company LG, telecom equipment manufacturer ZTE and semiconductor company Nvidia have also withdrawn from the event. It remains to be seen whether others will follow suit.
However, Huawei has told Verdict that it will be attending MWC.
Yesterday, GSMA, the event organiser, published a statement on the measures being put in place for the health and safety of attendees and exhibitors.
It said that those travelling from the Hubei province will not be allowed to attend the event, and those travelling from China will need to provide proof that they have been outside of China for 14 days.
Temperature screening measures, designed to detect fever, will also be put in place, and attendees will have to self-certify that they have not been in contact with anyone who is infected.
Event organisers will also implement increased cleaning and disinfection, onsite medical support and have advised attendees to adopt a “no handshake policy”.