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Intel pulls out of MWC 2020 due to coronavirus fears

The chipmaker is withdrawing "out of an abundance of caution," along with Vivo and NTT Docomo.

Intel headquarters in Santa Clara, California
The California-based Intel won't be traveling to Barcelona for MWC.
Stephen Shankland/CNET
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites.

Intel confirmed Tuesday that it won't attend Mobile World Congress this year, joining a stream of tech companies reacting to the deadly coronavirus outbreak. Amazon, LG and Sony are among those that have already pulled out of the Barcelona trade show, which is scheduled for Feb. 24-27.

"The safety and wellbeing of all our employees and partners is our top priority, and we have withdrawn from this year's Mobile World Congress out of an abundance of caution," a spokesperson for the California-based semiconductor company said in an emailed statement.

NTT Docomo, the Japanese carrier, is opting out of the show too. The decision was made "in consideration of the safety of the visitors, partner companies and staff members," NTT Docomo said Monday.

Chinese phone-maker Vivo is taking a similar approach, it confirmed via email, and is delaying the reveal of its 2020 Apex Concept

Now playing: Watch this: Mobile World Congress canceled over coronavirus fears

The novel coronavirus was discovered in December in Wuhan, the capital of China's Hubei region. As of Tuesday, the pneumonialike illness had infected more than 43,000 people and claimed more than 1,000 lives. Cases have been confirmed in around 30 countries, including two in Spain. 

GSMA, the trade group that puts on MWC, said the show is going ahead, but it's putting extra public health measures in place -- including banning travelers from Hubei province.

Originally published Feb. 11 at 1:53 a.m. PT.
Updates 2:29 a.m. PT: Adds more detail; 3:53 a.m. PT: Adds NTT Docomo and Vivo. 8:10 a.m. PT: Adds Vivo confirmation.