Google has cancelled exhibiting at the Mobile World Congress, MWC, 2021 event. The company cited the pandemic.
The company said, “Following our current COVID-19 travel restrictions and protocols, Google has made the decision to not exhibit at Mobile World Congress this year.”
“We will continue to collaborate closely with GSMA and support our partners through virtual opportunities. We look forward to this year’s activities and seeing you in Barcelona in 2022.”
The cancellation is the biggest so far, but not the only one. Other companies that have pulled out of this year’s event include technology giants Nokia, Ericsson, Sony and Oracle.
The GSMA, which organises and runs the show, has insisted on hosting an in-person event this year, even as the coronavirus situation continues to wreak havoc worldwide. While vaccination is taking off, John Hoffman, the GSM Association CEO, told Mobile World Live that they would not mandate all attendees to be vaccinated.
However, the organisation has laid out some protocols to help curb the spread of the virus during the phone show. One of the safety protocols includes a negative COVI-19 test 72 hours before the event. The GSMA will also control crowd density and make it mandatory to wear masks.
MWC typically attracts about 100,000 people across the world, but this year’s event will have about half of that, according to Hoffman.
MWC 2021 will be held in June. The event attracts many technology companies, and lots of products are showcased.