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Oppo and Xiaomi to postpone global launch events after MWC cancellation (updated)

The cancellation has cost these vendors the best opportunity to meet their overseas clients, says analyst.

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Chinese smartphone vendors Oppo and Xiaomi confirmed Thursday to KrASIA their plans to hold separated global launch events for their new smartphones, after learning that the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2020 has been officially cancelled due to concerns over the coronavirus epidemic.

Just on Tuesday , both companies, together with Huawei, had confirmed its participation to the event.

Oppo said today it respects the MWC organizer’s decision, and announced that it will postpone its Find X2 smartphone global launch event to March, adding that details will be shared later. The company originally planned to present its new flagship devices Feb. 22 in Barcelona, Spain, two days before the start of the MWC.

Likewise, Xiaomi said it will arrange a global launch event in Europe at a later date, to present its Mi 10 series and other products. Details will be known later, said the company, which planned to present its phone on Feb. 23 in Barcelona.

Lv Junkuan, an analyst at research and advisory firm Gartner, said that it could be very difficult to hold any global launch event overseas if the epidemic will not be brought under control soon, as many potential visitors might be reluctant to assist, as reported by 36Kr.

Lv added that the MWC’s cancellation has cost these vendors the best opportunity to meet their overseas clients, which could have a negative effect for their international sales.

Huawei, China’s top smartphone vendor, has already dispatched its Chinese employees to Spain to observe a 14-day self-quarantine, expecting to showcase a slew of new products at the MWC, including its updated foldable phone Mate Xs, IoT products, and personal computers, according to 36Kr.

However, the company said in written statements to KrASIA late Thursday that it “respects GSMA’s decision to cancel the Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2020”, adding that it “appreciate all the effort that the organizer and the Spanish government have put into this event”.

“Huawei has always and will continue to support the development of Mobile World Congress events in Barcelona. We will also continue communicating with our customers and partners through online and regional events to show Huawei’s latest products and solutions,” according to the statements.

36Kr is KrASIA’s parent company

The report was updated on February 14 to include Huawei’s statements.