Feb 12, 2020

Coronavirus: More big names pull out of MWC conference

Organiser GSMA is holding urgent talks about whether to cancel the event, with an announcement expected later. Health officials said there was no need to declare a health emergency. At a press conference in the city, Spain's Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, urged people to remain calm, "Trust in the Spanish health system" and "Take decisions based on scientific evidence". French telecoms group Orange will also be a no-show, despite the fact its chief executive, Stephane Richard, chairs the GSMA. A report in Wired suggests insurance policies would not cover losses if GSMA chooses to cancel the event, rather than being required to do so by authorities declaring a health emergency. More than 100,000 people usually attend the annual event, about 6,000 of whom travel from China, and thousands of companies exhibit, giving a huge lift to the Spanish economy.

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