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(Pocket-lint) - ZTE has released a statement saying that it's still focused on launching a "wide variety of 5G devices" at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona this month. However, ZTE "will not hold the handset launch event" according to the representative we've been in touch with.

Some Chinese manufacturers are rumoured to be pulling out of the event in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak and Korean manufacturer LG has already decided to stay at home and launch its LG G9 ThinQ phone at a later date

However, 2020 is a key time for mobile launches as 5G kicks into gear and many manufacturers will still be keen to show their wares. 

ZTE is pressing on with its plans and has even gone so far as to say that it'll be monitoring attendees at the show for signs of the virus before departure and during the show, while senior execs are being flown to Europe two weeks early to isolate themselves. 

The company has also said that all on-booth staff will not be Chinese and mostly from Europe. There's some suggestion that due to travel issues (a lot of airlines have stopped flights) many attendees wouldn't have been able to get to Barcelona anyway. 

The organisers of the event - the GSMA - has also trailed some of its major preparations and says it will ban attendees from shaking hands at the event which starts on 23 February.  

A bigger trend is that coronavirus has already shut tech stores and factory operations across China - and you know where your smartphone is made. Depending on how things pan out, the coronavirus could have an impact on launches and stock for much of the first part of 2020. 

Charley Boorman, Black Friday tech, and more - Pocket-lint Podcast 131

Writing by Dan Grabham. Originally published on 5 February 2020.