Technology giants prepare for safe attendance at MWC amid NCP outbreak

By Song Lin Source:Global Times Published: 2020/2/11 19:23:40

China's ZTE presents its Axon 10 Pro 5G cellphone at Mobile World Congress (MWC 2019) in Barcelona, Spain, Feb. 26, 2019. Photo: Xinhua

Chinese technology giants that still plan to attend the upcoming Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona are reducing personnel, cutting back on activities and conducting early quarantine measures, as the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP) has raised safety concerns over the annual telecom industry's grand gathering.

OPPO, one of China's leading smartphone vendors, chose to continue its MWC visit. All staff from the Chinese mainland will complete 14 days of quarantine in Barcelona, Spain before the opening of the MWC on February 24 to ensure their health, said a statement of the company sent to the Global Times on Tuesday.

Facilities and sites will be disinfected on schedule, and there will be temperature measuring and disinfection for all staff and visitors to the company's booths and activities.

Uncertainty about enterprises' decisions on to whether attend the MWC Barcelona 2020 has drawn attention amid the epidemic, and multiple companies from China and overseas have announced plans to pull out. Those companies include Japan-based Sony and China-based Vivo.

Companies that chose to go ahead are striving to enhance epidemic prevention to ensure the safety of employees and other attendees.

Other Chinese companies including Xiaomi and ZTE have announced they will participate in the MWC as planned, but with reduced staff and activities, as well as epidemic prevention measures.

"We are grateful for the preventative measures our Chinese exhibitors have put in place, notably ZTE and Huawei," said an email sent to the Global Times by the organizer of the MWC.

Other companies chose to cancel their plans to be in Barcelona out of safety concerns. Vivo, another Chinese smartphone maker, told the Global Times in a statement that it has decided to withdraw from this year's MWC, but its new product APEX 2020 — which was set to be announced during the activity — will still be released in the near future.

This year's MWC in Barcelona will inevitably be hit by the NCP outbreak as many of the equipment producers or terminal product makers are from China. Planned product debuts would have been disrupted, which would have a direct impact on the global telecom industry, Ma Jihua, a veteran telecom industry expert, told the Global Times on Tuesday. 

While speaking of the impact on the just-started 5G commercial era by the epidemic, Ma said that there would not be much impact in terms of production, the supply chain or other aspects.

The production of high-tech items has achieved a high level of automation with dust-free plants and strict management, and the large-scale producers have plants all over the world with abundant inventories that can guarantee their production capacity during a situation like this, Ma said.

The epidemic has actually triggered many application scenarios for 5G technology, such as remote medical consultations, autonomous-driving ambulances and facial recognition for community management, Ma noted.


blog comments powered by Disqus