MWC 2020 organiser braces for China virus as tech firms exit

New Delhi, Feb 10 (IANS) With top tech exhibitors like Amazon, Ericsson, Nvidia and LG pulling out from the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2020 in Barcelona later this month, its organiser GSMA on Monday issued sweeping safeguards over growing concerns around the deadly coronavirus.

The GSMA has completely banned visitors from the Hubei province, whose capital Wuhan is the epicentre of the epidemic that has killed over 900 people.

According to GSMA CEO John Hoffman, all travellers from the Hubei province will not be permitted access to the event

“All travellers who have been in China will need to demonstrate proof they have been outside of China 14 days prior to the event (passport stamp, health certificate),” said the new guidelines issued by the MWC organizing body.

“Temperature screening will be implemented and Attendees will need to self-certify they have not been in contact with anyone infected,” it added.

The disinfectant around the site will be done or priority and there will be “no handshake policy.”

Over 6,000 people from China attend the mobile show each year.

According to reports, the show has a big economic impact of 492 million euros this year, generating over 14,000 part-time jobs, according to the GSMA, the industry trade body and the MWC organiser which represents more than 1,200 companies across the mobile ecosystem.

Although no major Chinese smartphone maker has yet announced its exit, the situation is grim and changing by the day as the virus has impacted supply chains and disrupted tech companies' 2020 plans.

There is also a possibility that some of the smartphone launch events get postponed or cancelled.

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