LONDON (AP) — Nokia has become the latest company to drop out of one of the world’s biggest technology fairs over worries about the viral outbreak from China.
The Finnish telecom infrastructure company said Wednesday it has decided to withdraw from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain “after a full assessment of the risks related to a fast-moving situation. ”
It said “the health and well-being of employees was a primary focus” and that cancelling its involvement in the world’s biggest trade fair for the wireless and mobile industry was a “prudent decision.”
HMD Global, a separate Finnish company that makes Nokia phones under license, also said it’s pulling out.
Nokia is the latest in a string of tech companies to pull out of the event scheduled for Feb. 24-27. Ericsson, Amazon, Sony, LG, Cisco and Intel have already decided not to attend.
The departures of Nokia and Ericsson leave China’s Huawei, a major sponsor of the fair, as the only remaining major network gear maker still planning to attend.
Mobile World Congres was expected to attract more than 100,000 visitors, including 5,000-6,000 from China.
The GSMA, the wireless trade body that organizes the fair, declined to comment and instead referred to a statement from Sunday that outlined extra safety and hygiene measures, including banning visitors from the Chinese province where the virus originated.
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