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South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics said Tuesday it won't be physically present at Mobile World Congress, the telecoms industry's biggest annual gathering, next month in Barcelona due to the pandemic.

Last year's event in February 2020 was called off at the last minute after dozens of the world's biggest technology and telecoms firm pulled out over fears of the spread of the coronavirus.

This year, organisers chose to schedule the event—which is normally held at the start of the year—between June 28 and July 1, with attendance limited to 50,000 compared with a normal attendance of around 100,000.

But despite the smaller size, Samsung said it would only participate virtually.

"The health and safety of our employees, partners and customers is our number one priority, so we have decided to withdraw from exhibiting in-person at this year's Mobile World Congress," it said in a statement.

The GSMA industry association that hosts the has not said how many people have registered to take part in this year's event.

The Consumer Electronics Show, the biggest global tech and gadget show held every January in Las Vegas, only took place online this year due to concerns over the pandemic.