Russian Tech Firms Banned from Mobile World Congress 2022

Continuing with the consequences of the Russian assault on Ukraine, the mobile industry and technology event Mobile World Congress (MWC) is back in Barcelona on February 28. However, there will be no Russian Pavilion at MWC 2022, and Russian tech firms will be excluded. 

The world’s most meaningful connectivity event anticipates over 1,800 exhibitors and attendees from 183 countries and GSMA, the industry trade body that organizes the event.  

As such, the global organization merging the mobile ecosystem and organizer of the MWC announced its stance on the Russian assault on Ukraine. 

The decision taken is for the Russian Pavilion to not exhibit the country’s mobile products this year at the Barcelona-based event due to international sanctions imposed upon its country, confirmed the GSMA. 

The GSMA strongly condemned the assault in a statement on its website, while its chief executive John Hoffman stressed that there are no plans to cancel or reschedule the conference, adding that a “handful, a few Russian firms, and their executives will be barred” but didn’t reveal names. 

In addition, companies that have links with Russia, such as the carrier VimpelCom, can still buy their presence by paying the association for dedicated show flow space. 

On the same note, the GSMA added that “the situation is moving so fast, and we understand that governments are considering more sanctions against Russia.” 

In light of the emerging war and considering the tragic loss of lives, it seems immaterial under the circumstances, MWC said. The organization is a merging event with a vision to organize the mobile ecosystem to progress means and ways that connectivity can ensure people, industry, and society thrive.” 

It is worth mentioning that the organizers stressed “the GSMA follows all government sanctions and policies resulting from this situation, that is why there will be no Russian Pavilion at MWC22.” 

“We are guided by the international sanctions, and there are some companies that are identified on the list, which will be barred from participating,” he said, adding GSMA would strictly follow U.S. sanctions as well as others. 

Last but not least, expectations lie with more Russian companies to be banned from appearing at this year’s edition of MWC, and the same may apply to other events as the number of sanctions continues to grow. 

From the Eurovision contest to Formula 1, organizers say no to Russia. Many international technology shows are expected to return to in-person for 2022 events.