Nokia has pulled out of the Mobile World Congress 2020 (MWC) in Barcelona over the growing concerns of coronavirus.
GSMA who are the organisers said earlier this week the conference will go ahead as planned.
In a statement Nokia said, “Nokia has been carefully monitoring the situation following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, with the goal of making a fact-based decision related to our attendance at Mobile World Congress in 2020.
“While the health and safety of our employees is our absolute priority, we also recognise that we have a responsibility to the industry and our customers.
“In view of this, we have taken the necessary time to evaluate a fast-moving situation, engage with the GSMA and other stakeholders, regularly consult external experts and authorities, and plan to manage risks based on a wide range of scenarios.
“The conclusion of that process is that we believe the prudent decision is to cancel our participation at Mobile World Congress.
“We want to express our thanks to the GSMA, the governments of China and Spain as well as Catalonia’s Generalitat, and many others who have worked tirelessly to address the challenges resulting from the novel coronavirus, and they have our full support as they move forward.”
HMD Global who makes Nokia’s mobile handsets has also confirmed they will not be attending the event this month.
HMD Global said in a statement, “After much deliberation, and following recommendations from the relevant health authorities, we have decided to withdraw from exhibiting and participating at MWC Barcelona, 2020.
“MWC Barcelona has always been a key event in our annual calendar and we were very excited to showcase our new products to our partners, customers, media and fans.
“However, the health and safety of our employees, customers, and stakeholders is our highest priority.”
On Wednesday the number of confirmed cases has reached around 45,000 with 1,113 confirmed deaths in mainland China.