Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will have repercussions on the tech sector as well, a new report claims. The GSMA is banning some Russian companies from showcasing their products at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2022. However, the GSM Association didn’t specify the companies barred from participating in the annual event.
CEO of GSMA, John Hoffman, said there are no plans to cancel or postpone the event. “As we see the situation today, we don’t see any need or requirement to do that. Of course it’s an evolving situation and we will continue to monitor it,” he told Reuters (via Engadget).
But the GSMA website said it would honor all “sanctions and policies” levied on Russia. Meanwhile, the agency said it has a list of companies on the sanction list but couldn’t name the companies.
“We are guided by the international sanctions and there are some companies that are identified on the sanction list and those will be barred from participating,” Hoffman said.
Organizers of the event are expecting decent attendance despite the geopolitical tensions in eastern Europe
MWC 2022 will officially commence today, with the event lasting until March 3. The event will take place at Fira de Barcelona. Organizers said they expect up to 60,000 people to attend the four-day event, thus marking a return to pre-pandemic attendance levels.
As per the tourism blog, Hosteltur, the conflict in Ukraine hasn’t brought about widespread hotel cancellations, barring some representatives from eastern Europe. Hoffman said attendance could be high among top company executives. While MWC 2022 will by no means surpass 2019’s attendance, this will be a good marker of what physical events could look like in the future.
While some companies could still purchase floor space to showcase their products, the ban will impact brands tied with the MWC’s Russia Pavilion.
Considering the situation in Ukraine, Meta and Twitter have taken steps to assist citizens. Meanwhile, Facebook had placed restrictions on four Russian media outlets last week. In retaliation, Russia has restricted Facebook access.
As for MWC 2022, a handful of new smartphones will be on show, including the Nokia C21 and the C21 Plus. Additionally, Chinese smartphone manufacturer, Realme, will showcase the “world’s fastest smartphone charging technology.”