MWC Shanghai 2021 Makes a Dramatic Return With 200,000 Representatives as an International Physical & Digital Event

4 March 2021, Hong Kong: Connected Impact was the theme of MWC Shanghai 2021 and the GSMA has just revealed that the event held in February attracted around 25,000 attendees from 114 countries and territories. In a Covid era with extensive travel restrictions, this is an outstanding result. The My MWCS Online portal transformed the three-day event into a truly global affair which accounted for approximately 30 per cent of attendee turnout. Another 175,000 people viewed presentations, keynotes, and other program components via the event’s official media partner, C114. Content from the event remains available over the next few weeks and can be accessed here:

As Asia’s leading exhibition and conference for the mobile ecosystem, MWC Shanghai attracted leaders across mobile and adjacent industries. With 350 speakers and senior-level executives making up around 58% of the conference crowd, including 576 CEO’s, the event spanned 50,000 sqm across the Shanghai New International Expo Centre and Kerry Hotel Pudong. Playing host to 220 exhibitors and sponsors, the event was once again carbon-neutral and included discussion of the mobile industry’s actions on reducing carbon footprints.

“MWC Shanghai 2021 was a resounding success, safely held with enhanced Covid precautions, and despite extensive domestic and international travel and capacity restrictions triggered by the global pandemic. The event went ahead as a positive signal of our industry’s determination to connect people, industry and society and contributing to global recovery,” said CEO GSMA Ltd., John Hoffman. “China has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to growing the 5G landscape and was the perfect choice to launch our MWC series for 2021. I sincerely thank the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Cyberspace Administration of China, Shanghai Municipal People’s Government and Pudong New District Municipal Government, our Board, Partners, Exhibitors, Sponsors, Speakers, the Press and all involved in this event that make MWC Shanghai 2021 a reality.”

The place to launch new products

MWC Shanghai 2021 was also a platform for product innovation, including a range of pioneering devices from leading players. Amongst the line-up was ZTE’s Axon 30 smartphone, its latest endeavour to design a phone with a selfie camera hidden under the display. Oppo showed a 125-watt flash charger, which can fully recharge a smartphone in 20 minutes. Huawei, meanwhile, presented its folding Mate X2 handset, which the company proclaimed can be closed without there being a gap around the hinge, an issue that has plagued similar designs.

The IN crowd

Our new 5G Innovation Zone gave start-ups and entrepreneurs a platform to connect with investors and become future disruptors.

The zone included 80 exhibitors, displaying immersive 5G experiences that leveraged China Telecom’s 5G, Cloud XR and Digital Twin technologies, creating a unique experience for participants by moving them from the physical space into the virtual dimension. It removed physical constraint and greatly enriched the quality of the exhibition.

It also showcased how the most cutting-edge 5G thinking and technology is already serving society, providing in-person and virtual guests with the opportunity to explore the best examples.

2021 AMOs Success

The Asia Mobile Awards are always a highlight of MWC Shanghai, and this year was no exception. The Outstanding Contribution to the Asia Mobile Industry Award recognises sustained or extraordinary contributions by individuals, organisations or collaborative achievements that advance the value and benefits of mobile communications for people, business and societies in Asia. This year, Mats Granryd, Director General of the GSMA, was proud to announce joint winners, Wang Xiaochu, chairman and CEO of China Unicom and Ke Ruiwen, chairman and CEO China Telecom, for the world’s largest 5G commercial network sharing project.

The second honour, Smartphone of the Year, is awarded for outstanding performance, innovation and leadership as determined by assessing smartphones on the market during the last 18 months. John Hoffman announced the 2021 award went to Apple for the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Series. The judges also gave a special commendation to the Samsung Galaxy Z-Flip for continued innovation and development in the flexible display field.

Our thanks

In the most challenging circumstances, people came together. They demonstrated the ecosystem’s strength, commitment to innovation, and firm belief that mobile technology must play a vital role in the global recovery. Our sincere thanks to our Board, Partners, Exhibitors, Sponsors, Speakers, the Press and all involved in this event. Your resilience, commitment, and generosity were felt by participants worldwide and created hope, sending a positive signal about what 2021 has in store.

Looking to Barcelona

“The next platform for the mobile communications industry is MWC Barcelona in June,” said Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA. “The lessons learnt in Shanghai and the momentum gained will enable us to deliver another world-class event. The global recovery from the pandemic will continue to rely on our industry’s technology. The prospects for wireless connectivity have never been greater. Barcelona will be the place to be for anyone wanting to maximise those opportunities.”

For information about how to attend and pass types for MWC Barcelona, please visit:


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About GSMA

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting more than 750 operators with almost 400 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces the industry-leading MWC events held annually in Barcelona, Africa, Los Angeles and Shanghai, as well as the Thrive Series of regional conferences.

For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA.