Sunday 9 February 2020 9:43 pm

Amazon withdraws from Mobile World Congress due to coronavirus

Amazon has withdrawn from an international telecoms conference in Barcelona scheduled for later this month due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The e-commerce giant said it will not attend Mobile World Congress 2020, which will take place between 24 and 27 February.

Read more: Ericsson pulls out of MWC 2020 over coronavirus fears

“Due to the outbreak and continued concerns about the new coronavirus, Amazon will withdraw from exhibiting and participating in Mobile World Congress 2020,” the company said in a statement.

The US company had planned a significant presence through its cloud computing arm AWS, and was scheduled to host a full-day conference track on the first day.

Last week Ericsson announced it would not exhibit at the conference, saying it had “closely monitored the development and adhered to recommendations from relevant national authorities and international bodies”.

The move came after Korean first LG opted to pull out of attending the event, while Chinese tech firms Huawei and ZTE said they would sideline employees from their home country.

Ericsson chief executive Borje Ekhol said: “This is not a decision we have taken lightly. We were looking forward to showcasing our latest innovations at MWC in Barcelona. It is very unfortunate, but we strongly believe the most responsible business decision is to withdraw our participation from this year’s event.”

Organiser GSMA said it “continues to monitor and assess the potential impact of the Coronavirus on MWC Barcelona 2020 as the health and safety of our exhibitors, attendees and staff are of paramount importance.”

The event organiser said it was working with exhibitors to ensure World Health Organisation advice to reduce risk of the virus spreading was being carried out.

No visitors will be allowed to attend from China’s Hubei Province, which is where the outbreak of the disease started, and Chinese visitors will be required to prove that they have been outside the country for two weeks before the event.