The GSMA has surprised nobody by announcing the cancellation of the Chinese version of its Mobile World Congress trade show.
MWC Shanghai 2020 was scheduled for 30 June, so you can see why the GSMA decided to give it a bit more time, after the decision was made to cancel MWC Barcelona back in February. It’s fair to say the coronavirus situation has not improved since then and the Chinese government is ‘suggesting’ that large gatherings should still be avoided in the country, so that’s that.
“In light of current government guidance, the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel restrictions and other circumstances, the GSMA has cancelled MWC Shanghai 2020,” said the statement. “The GSMA has been in regular contact with stakeholders, and sought the advice of health officials and other authorities, as health and safety remain our top priority.
“The GSMA will work with government and health authorities to find a suitable date and venue to hold regional conferences in China in the latter half of 2020. We will confirm the feasibility of this in the coming months. We look forward to continuing to engage in the region throughout the year and in the build-up to MWC Shanghai 2021.”
There is no mention of what the arrangements will be regarding refunds for exhibitors and attendees, but any deviation from the settlement eventually offered after the cancellation of the Barcelona event would presumably be badly received. While the GSMA is opting for outright cancellation, many other events are still hoping to be able to reschedule for later in the year, once restrictions begin to be lifted.