The GSMA reported that more than 53,000 unique visitors from 104 countries and territories attended the 2016 GSMA Mobile World Congress Shanghai, held 29 June – 1 July in Shanghai. The three-day exhibition and conference attracted executives from the industry’s largest and most influential mobile operators, device makers, equipment providers, software companies and internet companies, as well as technology-savvy consumers.
“We are thrilled with the results of our 2016 Mobile World Congress Shanghai, which set new records for attendance and exhibition,” said John Hoffman, CEO, GSMA Ltd. “This was our largest and most ambitious event in Asia, with many new event features and programmes for business attendees and consumers alike. It truly showcased the power of mobile and its impact in our everyday lives.”
Held across four halls at the Shanghai New International Exhibition Centre (SNIEC), the 2016 Mobile World Congress Shanghai hosted nearly 550 exhibitors, including 18 pavilions. The Mobile World Congress Shanghai exhibition was a truly international showcase, with 64 per cent of exhibiting companies coming from outside of China. The conference programme attracted more than 4,100 attendees, with over 57 per cent of delegates holding C-level positions, including over 300 CEOs. Nearly 840 international media and industry analysts attended the event to report on the many industry announcements made at Mobile World Congress Shanghai.
At the SNIEC, Mobile World Congress Shanghai was held alongside the Shanghai Digital Information Festival and the Smart City Expo – Shanghai Pudong, with attendees able to visit all three events. With more than 15,500 visitors and nearly 200 exhibitors2, the Festival complemented Mobile World Congress Shanghai with programmes, events and activities demonstrating how citizens can utilise technology in areas such as education, healthcare, travel and entertainment. The Smart City Expo – Shanghai Pudong attracted nearly 3,000 attendees and over 30 exhibitors3 and explored the development of smart cities, including the role of mobile communications, the Internet of Things (IoT), urban solutions, smart homes and more.
Mobile World Congress Shanghai and the Shanghai Digital Information Festival officially opened with a joint ceremony attended by government and industry leaders including Zhang Feng, Chief Engineer, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology; Zhou Bo, Vice Mayor, Shanghai Municipal Government; Yang Jie, Chairman, China Telecom; Li Yue, President and CEO, China Mobile; Chen Mingbo, Chairman, Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Informatization; Chen Jiezhong, Director, Shanghai Communications Administration; Fu Xinhua, Vice Chairman, SHEITC; Wu Xingbao, Vice Chairman, Shanghai Commission of Commerce; and Jian Danian, Deputy District Director, Pudong New Area.
Industry Leaders Headline Conference Programme
The two-day Mobile World Congress Shanghai conference programme included keynotes from leaders of organisations including Alibaba, AT&T Mobility, Baidu, China Mobile, China Telecom, Ericsson, HTC, KDDI, NTT DOCOMO, Oberthur, Qualcomm and ZTE. Sessions in the conference addressed topics such as 5G, automotive, cyber security, digital commerce, gaming, IoT, hardware innovation, mobile media and content, and smart cities, among others.
Mobile World Congress Shanghai also included a range of GSMA and Partner Programmes, providing attendees the opportunity to build knowledge, gain insights and share best practices. These educational programmes focused on subjects including connected vehicles, devices, digital commerce, drones, graphene, IoT, 5G and next-generation networks, mobile entertainment, mobile security, video, virtual reality and more.
Exhibition Showcases Latest Mobile Innovation
The Mobile World Congress Shanghai exhibition showcased companies from across the mobile ecosystem as well as adjacent industry sectors, including Alibaba, China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, China UnionPay, Cisco, Coolpad, Ericsson, Ford, Hewlett Packard, HTC Vive, Intel, KT, Lenovo, LeTV, LG Electronics, McAfee, NEC, Nokia, Nubia, Tata Communications, Twitter, SAP, SK Telecom, Snail Mobile, Sony, Visa, Volkswagen, Xiaomi and ZTE. Mobile World Congress Shanghai also included 17 pavilions with exhibits from specific countries and regions.
The Connected Lifestyle Halls at Mobile World Congress Shanghai (Halls N3 and E7) included an array of event features, exhibition zones, stands and programmes designed to bring the mobile life directly to consumers. The GSMA Innovation City returned for a fourth year, with 50 per cent more participating companies than in 2015. Innovation City partners Akyumen, DTS, Intel, Hangar 18 NOA, Huawei, KT Corporation, MyFC, nubia, OPPO, Thinfilm, Volkswagen and GSMA industry programmes including Connected Living, Digital Commerce, Network 2020 and Personal Data highlighted how mobile-connected products and services are improving people’s daily lives in industrial applications, home, automotive, health, agriculture and others. The Innovation City also included products from Adidas and PSA Group.
The Mobile World Congress Shanghai exhibition also included many new event features including the Virtual Reality Zone, Drones! at Mobile World Congress Shanghai, the Device City, the Graphene Pavilion and the Youth Mobile Festival. A highlight was the Mobile Gaming Zone and Mobile eSports Invitational featuring “Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft”, which was viewed by more than 650,000 people onsite and via live stream, including more than 321,000 viewers during the final session on 1 July.
Building on its success at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, 4 Years From Now (4YFN) debuted in Asia at Mobile World Congress Shanghai. More than 100 startups, 60 investors and over 60 speakers participated in the 4YFN programme. Blitab, a startup that developed the first tactile tablet with an innovative actuating technology to create tactile text, graphics and maps for the visually impaired, won the 4YFN Award Shanghai edition and was rewarded with an exhibition space at 4YFN at Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona.
Mobile World Congress Shanghai: A Carbon Neutral Event
Mobile World Congress Shanghai was certified carbon neutral under the PAS 2060 standard in November 2015, making it the largest carbon neutral exhibition and conference in Asia. In 2016, the GSMA focused on further reducing the environmental impact of the event, reducing electricity consumption and waste in printed materials, encouraging the re-use and recycling of materials at the venue, utilising digital signage and electronic tools and working with the SNIEC, exhibitors and local partners to minimise the carbon footprint. Following Mobile World Congress Shanghai, the GSMA will pursue re-certification, calculating the event’s total carbon footprint and offsetting any outstanding emissions.
Mobile World Congress Shanghai Partners
China Mobile and Huawei were Platinum Event Partners and Snail Mobile was a Gold Event Partner for Mobile World Congress Shanghai. Official Media Partners were BBC World News and BBC.com, Bloomberg, C114 China Communication Network, Communications World, Mobile World Live, QQ.com, Sohu Tech and The Wall Street Journal, and Strategic Partners included CCIDCOM, China Mobile Communications Association (CMCA) and Shanghai TD-LTE Industry-cum-technological Innovation and Strategy Alliance (SCIA).
“We thank all who contributed to the record success of the 2016 Mobile World Congress Shanghai, including the government of China, the city of Shanghai, our Platinum Partners China Mobile and Huawei, and all of our exhibitors, sponsors, partners and attendees,” continued Hoffman. “We look forward to coming back to Shanghai next year and further building on our strong success.”
For news coverage and video highlights from Mobile World Congress Shanghai, please visit Mobile World Live at www.mobileworldlive.com/mobile-world-congress-shanghai-2016.