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Huawei, Oppo, and Xiaomi to attend Mobile World Congress despite coronavirus threat

Other companies, such as Vivo, ZTE, Amazon, and Sony, have confirmed their withdrawal.

Photo by Shai Pal on Unsplash Photo by Shai Pal on Unsplash

Chinese smartphone vendors Huawei, Oppo, and Xiaomi will attend the Mobile World Congress 2020 (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, according to statements provided to KrASIA.

These companies will request their Chinese employees expecting to attend the event to observe a 14-day self-quarantine before the beginning of the MWC, scheduled to start on Feb. 24.

The country’s largest smartphone vendor, Huawei, confirmed its attendance to KrASIA on Tuesday afternoon, adding that their conference committee, composed of 200 to 300 Chinese employees, has already been out of China and is working remotely from Spain and other countries. A spokeswoman added that a group of the company’s overseas employees will also attend the tech show.

Oppo, China’s third largest smartphone vendor, announced in a written statement that the company will showcase its latest technology and products at the MWC. “The night is always darkest before the dawn, the weather is always coldest before spring. We believe 5G development will keep rolling, and technology will bring us a better world and better future,” said Oppo in its statement.

Meanwhile, Xiaomi, China’s fourth largest smartphone maker, will showcase its flagship Mi 10 smartphone at the MWC, said the company’s vice president Chang Cheng via his Weibo account on Tuesday.

On the other hand, Vivo has joined ZTE and other companies who have canceled their presence. LG, NTT Docomo, Sony, Amazon, an Ericsson have also confirmed their withdrawal from this year’s MWC.

The MWC’s organizer, GSMA, has banned all travelers from Hubei province, where the virus originated. Additionally, it has said that all attendees who have been in China will have to show proof they have been outside the country for at least 14 days prior to the event, using passport stamps and health certificates, according to Techcrunch.

As per market research firm IDC, Huawei took the crown in China by shipping 140.6 million smartphones, up 33.9% year-on-year, while Oppo shipped 62.8 million smartphones in 2019 to take a 17.1% market share, representing a 20.4% year-on-year decrease. Xiaomi shipped 40 million to take a 10.9% share, down 21.2% year-on-year.

Research firm Canalys forecasted a 40% to 50% drop for the country’s smartphone shipments in the first quarter of this year as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, which has sickened 42,638 individuals in Mainland China as of Monday, claiming 1,016 lives.