BERLIN (Reuters) – For an event meant to showcase the power of telecoms, cancelling this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona without a back-up plan has perplexed many in the trillion-dollar sector.
Wednesday’s decision to call off the telecoms industry’s biggest annual gathering over fears of coronavirus, which has yet to reach mainland Spain, has left a hole in marketing budgets and dealt a $500 million blow to the local economy.
It has also raised questions about whether the four-day event, which drew 110,000 visitors last year, has become too big for its own good, while missing an opportunity to use the very communications technology that it is meant to highlight.
Sony and Nokia said after pulling out of the event that they would hold product launches online instead, while South Korea’s Samsung Electronics showcased a new folding phone at separate event in San Francisco last week.
The crisis began eight days ago when South Korea’s LG Electronics became the first…
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