Samsung Electronics decided against taking part in a scaled-back version of Berlin consumer electronics event IFA, The Korea Herald reported, dealing a massive blow to organisers’ plans to press-on with its conference despite the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

The newspaper cited concerns around the outbreak for Samsung’s decision, with the company reportedly organising local virtual events to showcase its products instead.

Samsung is traditionally one of the event’s most prominent exhibitors, using the IFA to showcase a wide range of products from mobile handsets to connected wardrobes. It also generally launches several new products for the European market at the event.

In May, IFA’s organisers announced the show would go ahead as a massively scaled-back physical event with a supporting online event for those unable to attend.

Under the new format the event is set to be split into four standalone segments with each limited to 1,000 attendees per day and strict guest lists. This compares with the 240,000 attendees and 2,000 exhibitors it received in 2019.

IFA 2020 is also set to be cut from its traditional duration of almost a week to three days.

The decision to hold the event bucked an industry trend, with all major global technology conferences cancelled since CES 2020 was held in January.