The number of companies withdrawing from MWC 2020 is slowly growing, and Amazon is now the latest company to join LG, ZTE, Ericsson and Nvidia in reducing (or outright cancelling) attendance at the show.
In a statement emailed to TechCrunch today, an Amazon spokesperson said
“due to the outbreak and continued concerns about novel coronavirus, Amazon will withdraw from exhibiting and participating in Mobile World Congress 2020, scheduled for Feb. 24-27 in Barcelona, Spain.”
The vast majority of people infected (and of those, the people who have died) are from China, and mostly there from the Hubei province. Some 41,000 people have been confirmed infected, and over 900 deaths have resulted from the Coronavirus outbreak, and though most of these are confined to China, the reality is a lot of people (and companies) are justifiably nervous about exposing their staff to any further risk.
Even though the risk is somewhat minimal, there’s been a growing wave of anti-Asian racism and xenophobia around the world, and (embarrassingly) a lot of it has come from Australia. If I were a Chinese-based company (or one with a sizable Chinese staff) I’d be concerned about exposing them to risk at an international conference too.