Shanghai braces to host Mobile World Congress: marketing chief

(Xinhua) 11:43, March 02, 2023

BARCELONA, Spain, March 1 (Xinhua) -- Expectations are high, the organizer of this year's edition of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) said, as the New International Expo Center (SNIEC) in Shanghai, China, is preparing to host the largest trade show for the mobile communication industry between June 28 and June 30 this year.

"There's this groundswell of goodwill because we've been away and apart for a couple of years," Lara Dewar, chief marketing officer (CMO) for GSMA, the industry group representing the world's biggest mobile phone operators and the organizer of the MWC, told Xinhua on the sidelines of the MWC Barcelona edition, which is taking place from Feb. 27 to March 2.

According to Dewar, the Barcelona event prepares the ground for the Shanghai and Las Vegas, U.S., editions later in the year.

"They will definitely take on local characteristics around the themes and the speakers that you'll see represented. We will have 'Velocity' as the theme for all the events, but the speakers that we can and want to attract to those events will again be a reflection of local market considerations," she explained.

"We want to represent a global perspective at this show as a trade body, and so having China as part of that conversation is absolutely crucial... There's a ton of innovation that comes out of the East that we all benefit from seeing," Dewar said, noting that the upcoming MWC Shanghai has the backing of China's three largest mobile operators.

"China has been one of the leaders in 5G and in rolling it out, so it's also important for us to get there and see what they've done with it, to see what reaping the potential of 5G can look like. We also have board members who are out in China, so it's a really important market for us to be a part of and be seen convening people in," she said.

Dewar also celebrated the strong return of Asian participants at this week's Barcelona edition of the MWC. With the lifting of China's travel restrictions earlier this year, some 5,000 of the 80,000 expected attendees are registered from that country, according to the GSMA.

"The show is richer as a result of open borders, and we've got over 150 companies represented from China. It's incredibly important in a very fractured world that we spend time in these spaces convening and unifying and working together and alongside one another, and it's better when everyone can be here," she said.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Wu Chaolan)


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