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Nvidia Cancels its MWC Attendance Over Coronavirus Concerns

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Nvidia revealed this week in a blog post that it won't be attending the Mobile World Congress (MWC) this year, which is set to kick off on February 24th. The company noted that its reason was the Coronavirus, as the company wants to protect its employees.

Mobile World Congress is a trade show that takes place in Barcelona each year and is primarily aimed at covering mobile affairs, which include the latest developments from mobile phone makers and chipmakers for mobile devices such as Qualcomm. 

Nevertheless, Nvidia sponsored the show and was also scheduled to host a total of ten sessions. Though not strictly about mobile topics, these sessions were focused around AI coverage, and there were plans for an "AI Edge Innovation Center". 

This isn't the first hit the tech industry is taking due to the Coronavirus. Local businesses in China are suffering, factories are closed and travel is restricted to protect employees, fear of the Coronavirus is being used to spread malware, and hardware prices are expected to rise after the infection is contained.

Given that Nvidia is not attending MWC due to health concerns, we're curious what will happen with Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference (GTC) in San Jose, which is set to kick off six weeks from today. 

  • cryoburner
    More importantly, they need to paint their roof. It's looking a bit ghetto, like an abandoned gas station or something.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    cryoburner said:
    More importantly, they need to paint their roof. It's looking a bit ghetto, like an abandoned gas station or something.
    Ha ha.

    That photo, first of all, has a shutterstock credit, which I find somehow surprising (I guess I assumed their photos were only of generic stuff).

    Secondly, the pictured banner features #MWC16. This year's is #MWC20. I checked.

    https://www.mwcbarcelona.com
    I didn't spend much time looking, but I didn't find a picture of the same building/entrance, to see if they had, in fact, renovated it.

    Of course, the building is not owned by MWC, but surely some convention hall or exhibition space they merely rented.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    Anyway, what I was going to say is maybe we'll finally see the world learn how to hold virtual conventions, this year. I just hope they don't hold it in Second Life or anything like that.

    cringes
    Reply
  • cryoburner
    bit_user said:
    I didn't spend much time looking, but I didn't find a picture of the same building/entrance, to see if they had, in fact, renovated it.
    It's the Fira de Barcelona Gran Via. I actually checked before posting that, and found an image of another trade show from 2019. It didn't look any better. They could probably send some guy up on the roof with a paint roller to at least take care of the edge.
    Reply
  • Ninjawithagun
    Countries need to seriously consider creating federal laws that prohibit companies and etailers/retailers from price gouging. Just take a look at N95 masks. This could have easily been prevented by eBay, Amazon, and others by banning 3rd parties from selling such products at inflated prices. Taking advantage of people during a pandemic is inhuman behavior to say the least. Just wait until electronic prices start sky rocketing... The N95 mask price gouging debacle is just the beginning.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    Ninjawithagun said:
    Countries need to seriously consider creating federal laws that prohibit companies and etailers/retailers from price gouging.
    Price gauging is not entirely bad. For one thing, members of the public don't hoard as much, when they have to pay more for each one, thus allowing more goods to reach those who need them the most. Secondly, it increases the incentive to producers. Finally, for people who have been sitting on extra supplies they don't need, it gives them a greater incentive to sell them to someone who does - sort of like scraping the bottom of the barrel, to find extra inventory.

    Perhaps the lesson from this will be for distributors and the healthcare system to keep more protective equipment in storage. It doesn't help us now, but maybe next time.

    Rationing might not even work, as the supply from China is being cut off. Again, that shows the folly of relying on China as the majority supplier of critical goods.

    I know it sucks to be on the receiving end of price gouging. But, you still have to think hard about the practical alternatives.
    Reply
  • Ninjawithagun
    I still think the cons don't outway the pros. In this case, the price gouging is just too extreme. We are not talking about a dollar or two increase per mask. Try 4 to 8 times the price for a single mask. And you have to remember, in 3rd world countries, most of those populations consist of low income families. That means they can't afford the prices to buy their own masks. This has nothing to do with hospitals stocking up on supplies as with these kind of pandemics, as the sick can't even reach the hospitals. So there goes those arguments being valid. You will never convince me that price gouging is a good thing for consumers. It isn't, no matter what you may think.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    Ninjawithagun said:
    You will never convince me that price gouging is a good thing for consumers. It isn't, no matter what you may think.
    Internet arguments being unwinnable, the most I can hope is to offer a different perspective. It's kind of weird how you characterize my position. I think you're making some questionable assumptions, here.

    Ninjawithagun said:
    I still think the cons don't outway the pros. In this case, the price gouging is just too extreme. We are not talking about a dollar or two increase per mask. Try 4 to 8 times the price for a single mask. And you have to remember, in 3rd world countries, most of those populations consist of low income families. That means they can't afford the prices to buy their own masks.
    I did say it sucks to be on the receiving end of it, but I think you're not being realistic about the alternatives. Ultimately, it's not the gouging that's the root problem - it's the shortage, and it's a massive one. The net effect is that some people aren't going to have masks they either need, or at least think they need. The question then comes down to one of how you decide who gets masks and who doesn't.

    Health experts have been clear about the fact that these masks don't provide protection against the virus - or, at least not the kind of protection people think they do. So, would you have panicked consumers depleting the supply of masks that will not keep them safe, to the extent that hospitals can't get the masks they need for safe surgeries? Otherwise, we're going to see hospitals either not performing life-saving surgeries, or performing surgeries without masks. Surgery without masks leads to more deaths caused resulting from otherwise-avoidable infections. Hospitals, around the world, are already facing the very real prospect of running out of masks.

    Ninjawithagun said:
    This has nothing to do with hospitals stocking up on supplies as with these kind of pandemics, as the sick can't even reach the hospitals. So there goes those arguments being valid.
    Huh? The only problem with sick reaching hospitals is with their not being enough hospitals, staff, and supplies. covid-19 takes a fairly long time to kill. There's plenty of time to get people into care, so long as the system has the capacity to provide that care.

    And, to the extent that masks are effective, health care providers should have priority access, since they are most at risk. Not only do they have the highest likelihood of coming into contact with the virus, but the risk is much greater, the larger dose of it you receive, meaning masks don't even need to be 100% effective to provide real benefits to them. And I shouldn't have to convince you that, for each healthcare worker who dies (or even has to take leave do to becoming a patient), you'll have a multiple of deaths among the public. It's when the system collapses that these sorts of things really spiral out of control.

    Basically, the only viable alternative to price gouging would be to have government step in and handle mask allocation and distribution. Either way, panicked consumers are going to be at the bottom of the pecking order.

    If you have price controls and no rationing or managed distribution, then some people will buy up and hoard all of the supplies, depriving others (including in systemically-important roles) who might need them more. In addition to most consumers probably still not getting any.

    Take your pick.
    Reply
  • Ninjawithagun
    Your argument only continues to encourage greed. Nothing more, nothing less. You will NOT convince me otherwise. Give up now.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    Ninjawithagun said:
    Your argument only continues to encourage greed. Nothing more, nothing less. You will NOT convince me otherwise. Give up now.
    Yeah, I mean for one thing, I can't even make you read what I wrote, much less think about it.

    Case in point: in the first sentence of my reply, I already said "Internet arguments (are) unwinnable". If you didn't even read that much, you're certainly not going to engage with any of the other ideas in my post.

    Since you probably didn't notice, I did discuss other options. I'm not against other approaches, but you have to be realistic. About the only thing worse than price gouging is price controls without rationing or managed distribution. As far as I can tell, that's all you've put forth, and I think that's one of the few worse approaches than simply allowing price gouging (i.e. a pure, market-based solution).
    Reply