(Pocket-lint) - The annual Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona is weeks away, and many have wondered how the coronavirus outbreak will affect attendance, especially considering some countries have begun enforcing travel limitations.
Mobile World Congress is an important date in the calendar for smartphone manufacturers, as it's the biggest launch platform for new devices. We were expecting launched from LG, Sony Mobile, Oppo, Motorola, Nokia, Huawei and many others.
In a statement, LG has said it has been monitoring the deadly coronavirus outbreak as it expands outside of Wuhan. The outbreak was recently declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization. LG said it wanted to "remove the risk" of exposing hundreds of employees to travel, which, it said, "has already become more restrictive as the virus continues to spread across borders".
As a result, LG has canceled all activities at the show. "With the safety of its employees, partners, and customers foremost in mind, LG has decided to withdraw from exhibiting and participating in MWC 2020 later this month in Barcelona, Spain," LG announced.
LG now plans to hold separate events "in the near future" to announce its 2020 smartphones, which is rumoured to include a follow-up to last year's LG G8 ThinQ. MWC kicks off 24 February, with more than 100,000 expected to attend.
There's no word yet when LG will hold its own events, but it'll likely be after MWC 2020 and perhaps after the coronavirus becomes less of a travel risk. In related news, it's also being reported that Chinese manufacturer ZTE has withdrawn from the show.