The pickpockets of Barcelona, legendary for their stealth, are having a bad February. Usually it’s a booming month because of the rich pickings of the annual MWC Barcelona trade show (previously the Mobile World Congress). But not this year. The unprecedented spread of the coronavirus has put paid to that.

Every year, the top players in the global mobile industry descend on the Mediterranean city, with its majestic Sagrada Familia basilica, an unfinished masterpiece by the architectural genius Antoni Gaudí...

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