Samsung becomes latest big name to pull out of MWC 2021

Samsung booth at Mobile World Congress 2019
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Samsung has become the latest big name company to pull out of this year's Mobile World Congress (MWC) following a decision to host the show as an in-person event.

The world's number one smartphone manufacturer announced on Tuesday that it won't be attending the Barcelona trade show, which is due to take place between 28 June and 1 July, and will instead showcase its new products and technologies virtually.

"The health and safety of our employees, partners and customers is our number one priority, so we have made the decision to withdraw from exhibiting in-person at this year's MWC," the company said in a statement.

"We look forward to participating virtually and continuing to work with GSMA and industry partners to advance new mobile experiences."

Samsung's confirmation is yet another blow for MWC 2021, which has already seen a number of high-profile companies withdraw from this year's in-person show.

Ericsson was the first company to bow out, and Sony confirmed shortly after that it also wouldn't be attending due to the "continuing impacts from COVID-19 and our primary consideration towards our people, their health and well-being".

GSMA is planning to host the event in June with 50,000 attendees in person and has said that everyone who visits the Fira Gran Via in Barcelona will have to show a negative test result and also repeat the test every 72 hours.


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However, since that announcement, Nokia, Oracle, and Google have all joined the growing list of large exhibitors that have been seemingly unconvinced by the GSMA's safety measures.

Despite a number of setbacks, the industry body seems to be confident that this year's show will go ahead due to the number of vaccines being rolled out across Europe and the fact it was able to successfully hold the Shanghai version of the event at the end of February. Organisers confirmed that around 25,000 people from 114 countries were in attendance, along with 220 exhibitors, including Huawei.

Carly Page

Carly Page is a freelance technology journalist, editor and copywriter specialising in cyber security, B2B, and consumer technology. She has more than a decade of experience in the industry and has written for a range of publications including Forbes, IT Pro, the Metro, TechRadar, TechCrunch, TES, and WIRED, as well as offering copywriting and consultancy services. 

Prior to entering the weird and wonderful world of freelance journalism, Carly served as editor of tech tabloid The INQUIRER from 2012 and 2019. She is also a graduate of the University of Lincoln, where she earned a degree in journalism.

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