Lenovo has pulled out of in-person exhibitions at this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) over COVID-19 pandemic concerns. The company will now showcase its latest innovations and products virtually at the mega event next month. MWC 2022 will take place at Fira Gran Via in Barcelona between February 28 and March 3.
“Due to the ongoing trends surrounding COVID, Lenovo’s activation at MWC 2022 will be fully virtual,” Lenovo said Tuesday. It is the second major brand to withdraw its physical presence at MWC 2022. Earlier this month, Sony confirmed its absence on the floor at the event.
Lenovo will attend MWC 2022 virtually
MWC is returning to its usual time slot of February after three years. Last year’s edition was postponed to June due to coronavirus concerns while MWC 2020 was canceled altogether. However, the latest outbreak of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus has now put MWC 2022 in jeopardy.
GSMA, the organization behind the show, is not giving up just yet and is still hopeful of putting together an in-person show. However, considering the number of big names that canceled their physical exhibitions at CES 2022, forcing the organizers to cut short the event, there’s every possibility of MWC 2022 not going ahead as planned.
Companies are already starting to withdraw their physical presence at the event. Sony’s withdrawal wouldn’t have hurt GSMA much as the Japanese company has not been an exhibitor at MWC since 2019. However, it is not happy with Lenovo’s decision. The Chinese company has been one of the mainstays at the annual event over the years.
“The GSMA is disappointed, but respects that in an environment with varied opinions and predictions, plans may be modified. We wish them all the best and look forward to welcoming them back next year,” the organization said in an emailed statement to Cnet. “We have proven our ability to deliver a safe environment with an industry-leading health and safety plan, Committed Community and, three successful events in 2021.”
However, despite GSMA’s repeated assurance, we could see more companies canceling their in-person exhibitions at MWC 2022 if the situation doesn’t improve over the next few weeks. We still have about a month to go for the big event. So there’s still a lot of time for things to change. Even if the show goes ahead in a physical form, it could see fewer attendees than usual. Before the pandemic, MWC hosted over 100,000 attendees and hundreds of global brands. We will let you know as and when we have more information.