Intel has announced that it's pulling out of the Mobile World Congress event, citing fears over the coronavirus.
In a statement, an Intel spokesperson explained that, "the safety and wellbeing of all our employees and partners is our top priority, and we have withdrawn from this year’s Mobile World Congress out of an abundance of caution. We are grateful to the GSMA for their understanding and look forward to attending and supporting future Mobile World Congress events."
The Mobile World Congress event is hosted in Barcelona on February 24-27th, and Intel is far from the only company to drop out due to fears surrounding the virus. In the past week, companies including Amazon, LG Electronics, Ericsson and Nvidia have all announced they won't be attending.
That's a particularly big deal for Nvidia given the firm also sponsors the show and was set to host a total of 10 sessions at the event. The sessions were aiming to look at AI coverage, with Intel also planning on making product announcements during the event.
While Nvidia hasn't given word on what it'll be doing instead, Intel is planning on making its announcements regardless. Presumably, there should be some concerns regarding Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference in San Jose which starts March 23rd, as well as events such as Cisco Live!, and Microsoft's Ignite Tour, amongst others.
The coronavirus continues to have a huge impact on the world with over 1,000 deaths reported and tens of thousands of cases of the virus. There are hopes that new infections might be seeing a slowdown though with the BBC reporting that new cases were down yesterday compared to the previous day.
For now though, no one could blame multinational companies from being cautious about sending its employees around the world to interact with others. Many conferences lead to attendees suffering from 'con-flu' thanks to the sheer wealth of people coming into contact with each other, and that's when there isn't a new virus emerging across the world.
We're assuming all companies dropping out of the likes of MWC and other events have extensive contingency plans that should prove safer for individuals. MWC has also implemented its own plans where attendees who have recently been to China need to confirm they've been outside the country for 14 days before the convention, with the organisers also banning visitors from China's Hubei province where the virus is meant to have originated.
Expect a more muted MWC than past years.
February 24 2020 | 12:00