LG Electronics announced on Wednesday that the tech company canceled its promotion booth at the upcoming Mobile World Congress 2020. The decision came after concerns over the recent outbreak of a new coronavirus in Wuhan, China.
This year’s Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest mobile industry fair, will be held in Barcelona, Spain from February 24 to 27.
The Korean company said it would not open its exhibition booth due to worries about its employees and the public. However, LG’s cancellation of its booth would not affect its appointments with global telecommunication firms at the event.
LG Electronics is the first South Korean tech company to pull out of the event. Earlier, Chinese multinational telecommunications equipment and systems company, ZTE Corp., canceled its MWC press conference.
Initially, LG intended to unveil its next-generation flagship smartphone lineup V60 ThinQ and LG G9 ThinQ alongside other products but decided to cancel due to the virus scare. With the supposed introduction, LG hoped to make a comeback after the lackluster response received by the company’s G8 ThinQ from the international market.
In a statement, the company said that it would create separate events soon to showcase its 2020 products. The company also added that the official launch date for its new smartphones would not change.
Given LG’s announcement that it will withdraw from the event, other South Korean companies might follow suit leading to other firms reviewing their plans for the fair. However, industry officials said that penalties might arise in connection with companies that could follow in the footsteps of LG.
LG Group’s telecommunications affiliate, LG Uplus, also postponed a media conference, which was to be initially led by the company’s CEO Ha Hyun-hwoi.
Despite companies withdrawing from the MWC, Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA), the fair’s organizer, confirms that there is minimal impact on the event, and the fair will continue as intended.
Last year’s MWC 2019 event attracted more than 100,000 attendees, of whom 27 percent were based in China.
IT event organizers are also canceling their scheduled exhibitions in Korea due to concerns related to the coronavirus spread.
SEMICON Korea, Korea’s largest fair in the semiconductor industry, canceled its February 5 to 7 events because of the virus-related concerns.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy also made the decision to cancel the Korea Innovation Industry Exhibition, which was initially planned to be held on February 17.