The biggest threat to MWC is tech companies realizing they don’t need it

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Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images

The biggest news of the day yesterday is that Mobile World Congress, the world’s biggest phone show, has been canceled due to coronavirus concerns. I actually heard it on national news briefings. MWC is usually only noticed by tech obsessed (me) and cell phone industry wonks, so it was weird to hear it discussed on NPR.

I’ve been tracking the various cancellations in the space over the past week or two and the number of companies backing out of the show just hit a critical mass.

One big consequence of this cancellation is that MWC gives Chinese phone makers their best shot at getting real and sustained attention from western media. It’s going to be a real hit to their business, but we don’t know yet how big. Obviously these phones will…

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