Huawei postpones developer conference due to coronavirus concerns

23 Jan 2020

The city of Wuhan, which is at the centre of the recent coronavirus outbreak. Image: © chungking/

As coronavirus spreads in the Chinese city of Wuhan, Huawei has confirmed that it is postponing its annual developer conference.

Huawei has postponed its annual developer conference in China by more than a month following the outbreak of coronavirus.

Health experts are meeting today (23 January) to decide whether to declare an international public health emergency over the outbreak, which has killed more than a dozen people in the country and closed down the city of Wuhan, where it is thought to have originated.

Officials say at least 444 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in China’s Hubei province, where at least 17 people have died.

Postponed conference

Huawei had been due to hold its annual developer conference in Shenzhen, 600 miles south of Wuhan, on 11 and 12 February, but the Chinese company has now confirmed the event has been postponed until the end of March.

A message on Huawei’s website reads: “Based on the prevention and control of the pneumonia epidemic situation of the new coronavirus infection, we attach great importance to the health and safety of all the participants.

“The Huawei Developer Conference 2020 (Cloud), which was originally planned to be held in Shenzhen from February 11-12, will be postponed to March 27-28 2020.”

The website describes the conference as the company’s “flagship event for developers worldwide in the ICT field”.

Travel to the region not advised

Chinese state media said Wuhan’s railway stations and airport are closed, while ferries and long-distance buses have also been stopped.

The UK Government announced that passengers on all direct flights from Wuhan into Heathrow would be subject to enhanced monitoring, while the UK’s Foreign Office advised against all but essential travel to the city.

It comes after the first cases of the virus spreading to other parts of the world were reported, including in Japan and the US, but there have been no reported cases in the UK and Ireland.

The first case confirmed in the US was that of a man in his 30s who had recently travelled from Wuhan to Seattle. US health officials said that this man had at least 16 close contacts before he was placed in isolation.

The first patient to die from the current outbreak of the coronavirus was a 61-year-old man who died in China on 9 January.

– PA Media