Huawei P40 Pro Paris launch scrapped, replaced with online event

Concerns over the coronavirus outbreak sparked the decision to hold the P40 launch as a virtual event.

Huawei's P30 will be succeeded by the P40 Pro later this month.
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites.

Update, March 26: The Huawei P40, P40 Pro and the P40 Pro Plus​ have now officially been launched. Read our first take here​.

The upcoming Paris launch of Huawei's flagship P40 Pro, which was due to take place in Paris later this month, has been canceled and replaced with a virtual event because of concerns about the coronavirus outbreak.

Huawei said on Tuesday that for the safety and comfort of everyone involved, it would stream its press conference online on March 26. In France, where the event would have been held, there have so far been 1,412 confirmed coronavirus cases, and 30 people have died after contracting the COVID-19 illness from the virus.

"Due to growing public health concerns, the Huawei flagship product launch, originally scheduled to be held in Paris on 26 March, will now be delivered online," said a spokesman for Huawei in a statement.

The decision comes several weeks after Mobile World Congress in Barcelona -- where many of the biggest phone launches of the year take place -- was canceled, also due to the outbreak. Huawei's Barcelona launch of the Mate XS, its newest foldable phone, also had to be streamed over the internet. 

Since MWC's cancellation, a number of other important events in the tech calendar have also pulled the plug, including the Geneva Motor Show, SXSW, Google I/O and Facebook F8. The cancellations largely serve as a containment measure to prevent the virus, which has so far infected almost 115,000 people globally and killed over 4,000 people, from spreading further by bringing large groups of people who have traveled from many different destinations together under one roof.

Replacing conferences and shows with online events is an increasingly popular response to the cancellations, and Huawei's decision to hold a virtual press conference means there's still plenty to look forward to from the company. The flagship P40 series will serve as the successor to last year's P30 series, which blew us away with its impressive camera setup. We're hoping to be similarly impressed by this year's device, which according to the rumors will include:

  • A 10x optical zoom camera
  • A 52mp Sony camera sensor
  • 5G support
  • Five different color options

Even without attending the Paris event, CNET will be going hands-on with the new phone as soon as we're able to, so stay tuned for all the news from the launch event and our first impressions of the phone.

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