K-pop Group EXO Member Files a Lawsuit against His Agency

Article from Dispatch:

[Q&D] “Does he want to leave the group?”…23 questions about Kris’ lawsuit

EXO-Kris-lawsuit

In December, 2009, Super Junior’s Chinese member Han Geng left his group. He filed a lawsuit for “confirmation of the exclusive contract’s invalidity”. He took an issue with the contract’s period and profit distribution.

In May, 2014, EXO member Kris is following the path of Han Geng. On the 15th, he filed a lawsuit for “confirmation of the exclusive contract’s invalidity”. He claimed that his contract was violated. Currently, Kris is staying away from his group and the other 11 members are doing their scheduled activities.

[…]

Q. What is this lawsuit called “confirmation of the contract’s invalidity”?

D. It means “I acknowledge that I agreed to the contract but I ask you to check whether it is still effective”. In other words, he acknowledges the contract but he wants to nullify it after a certain point of time. It is a lawsuit that most celebrities file when they deal with excessive schedules or poor distribution of profits. (Lawyer Kim Gyeong-hwan)

Q. Fans still find hope from the fact that it is not a “lawsuit for nullification of the contract”.

D. Both lawsuits intend to nullify the contract. Both have the same purpose of checking the contract’s illegality. However, the difference is when the contract becomes nullified. For “confirmation of the contract’s invalidity”, the plaintiff sets a certain point of time and asks to nullify the contract after that point. (Lawyer Kim Gyeong-hwan)

Q. Setting a certain point of time?

D. For example, let’s say the plaintiff chose March 4th in 2014. Then it means “I acknowledge the contract before that date. However, I cannot honor it after March 4th. Please check whether the contract is still valid after that date.” We don’t know what date he choose. (Lawyer Kim Gyeong-hwan)

Q. If he wants to nullify the contract, wouldn’t it be more effective to file a “lawsuit for nullification of the contract”?

D. That lawsuit denies the contract altogether. Then they have to prove the illegality of the contract’s content itself, which is hard. There are extremely few cases where they win a lawsuit like that. You have to prove the illegality of the accused such as taking excessive profits exploiting the plaintiff’s mistakes or inexperience, proxy contract or fake arranged contract. (Lawyer Seon Jong-mun)

Q. What is the advantage of the lawsuit he filed?

D. If Kris signed a standard contract with SM and SM violated any part of it, there is a high chance that Kris can win. If it is true that SM forced excessive schedules on him, it can be considered a violation. It should be proven to the court. (Lawyer Seon Jong-mun)

Q. This lawsuit looks similar to the case of Han Geng.

D. Han Geng filed a lawsuit for confirmation of the exclusive contract’s invalidity. At that time, the court ruled against SM for the excessively long period of contract, which was 13 years (2005-2018). According to the “standard contract for popular culture artists”, the contract cannot last for longer than 7 years. For singers, it can be longer but the singers themselves can nullify the contract after 7 years at any time they want.

Q. Will the outcome for Kris be similar?

D. Not necessarily. Kris is a different case. When Han Geng signed the contract in 2003, there was no “standard contract”. So unfair clauses might have been included. It is different for Kris. SM has been using the standard contract for all artists since December 2010. Kris might have also signed the standard contract. It is unlikely that the contract itself is illegal. (Lawyer Seon Jong-mun)

Q. What if SM forced excessive schedules on Kris as he claimed?

D. It’s very hard for me to tell because I don’t know what happened between Kris and SM. No company is able to completely comply with the contract. There is always room for violations. If Kris persistently makes an issue of some problematic conduct of SM, there is a chance for him to win. (Lawyer Seon Jong-mun)

Q. If Kris wins the lawsuit, what will happen to the money issue?

D. In a lawsuit for confirmation of the exclusive contract’s invalidity, the contract before the set point is still protected. Hence, Kris doesn’t have to return any profit from his activities under SM until that point. If it was a lawsuit to nullify the contract itself, it would be a different story. They will have to resettle their profit distribution because the whole contract becomes null and void. (Lawyer Kim Gyeong-hwan)

Q. If Kris loses, can SM sue him for damages?

D. Of course. If no violation from SM is proven, the contract remains effective. In that case, SM can blame Kris. For example, they can sue him for financial and psychological damage caused by his absence without consent. However, the companies usually don’t file a counter lawsuit because they acknowledge the service of the artists. (Lawyer Lee Jae-man and Seon Jong-mun)

Q. What about the possibility that Kris filed the lawsuit just to make changes to his contract?

D. Unlikely. When they want to make changes to their contract, they usually negotiate with their agency. There are very few cases where they brought it to the court. Even if Kris originally just wanted to make changes to his contract, he might have failed anyway because he eventually brought it to the court. (Lawyer Kim Gyeong-hwan, Lee Jae-man and Seon Jong-mun)

Q. What will be the next step and how long will it take for the lawsuit to be concluded?

D. In principle, it takes 6 months until the court’s decision. But it may take longer if some adjustments are made in the middle of the process. If Kris wins, he will be free from the contract and he can do independent activities. On the other hand, if SM wins, the contract remains. (Lawyer Lee Jae-man)

Q. What did Kris complain about SM?

D. Kris picked three reasons for the lawsuit. First, unfair treatment. He claimed that he was treated like a component or an object to control rather than a celebrity. Second, inflexible schedules. He claimed that SM went ahead with schedules without asking him for consent or considering his physical conditions. Lastly, profit distribution. He claimed that his agency only showed him simple calculation sheets instead of detailed profit distribution data.

Q. Did SM treat Kris like an object to control?

D. Control is inevitable for rookie idols. It is the same with any other agencies. Most idols are in their late teens or early twenties. They aren’t good at managing themselves yet. Stars rely on their image. A certain degree of control is natural. After the recent Sewol ferry accident, we are more strictly watching on our idols’ behavior. Even if they complain about our control, we can’t help it. How to accept it depends on their own mindset. (Big 3 entertainment agency staff)

Q. Kris is Chinese. Would he have experienced cultural differences with Korean members?

D. Kris belongs to EXO-M consisting of 4 Chinese members and 2 Korean members. Wouldn’t it rather be the Korean members who may feel alienated? Their activities are mainly in China. Korean members are more likely to experience cultural differences. As no other Chinese members raised an issue like that, I don’t think such a problem exists in any significance. (Smaller idol agency staff)

Q. Are schedules forced against their own will or physical conditions?

D. Normally, schedules are settled one month or two in advance. For rookies, their companies often make decisions on their schedules. Of course, the companies explain what kind of activities they will participate in. However, it is hard to predict what kind of physical conditions they will be in on the day of the activity. You can’t know what their conditions will be like in a month. We decide what to do on each day. If a singer is asked to do an activity even when they got a flu, it can be a problem. You have to listen to both sides of the story. (Big 3 entertainment agency staff)

Q. Kris claimed that SM made decisions on every schedule without asking for his opinion.

D. A part of this is inevitable for rookies. EXO is in the second year of their career. They are just losing the label of rookies. In fact, it is hard for rookies to make good decisions on their schedules. Someone has to make decisions for them and lead them. If the agency left it all up to their singers, then someone would file a lawsuit against the agency for not doing their work. It is something rookies have to accept. However, when the singers become experienced after some years, most times, we discuss our schedules together. (Major entertainment agency staff)

Q. Kris raised an issue about profit distribution. He claimed that his agency did not reveal the distribution sheet.

D. SM distributes profits twice a year. The management team gives a briefing to each singer. Some singers attend it with their parents to check the distribution sheet. In smaller companies, they aren’t as professional. They just explain it verbally. The big 3 companies [SM, YG and JYP] are listed on the stock market, so they cannot manipulate their profit distribution. (Former SM manager)

Q. Kris complained about his income.

D. Korean entertainment agencies have the trainee system. They foster trainees and debut them as singers. They invest hundreds of millions of won in this process. They take a lot of risks. EXO members were trained for several years, but when they debuted, the public response was worse than expected. They began to make profits only after promotion of “Growl”. There must have been a gap between the income Kris anticipated and actually distributed income. (Music industry staff)

Q. Do Chinese brokers really exist?

D. The idol groups who receive attention from China are EXO, TVXQ, Big Bang, Super Junior and 2PM. Chinese agencies with huge financial power actively send love calls to them. The idols may think if they can go solo in China, they will be able to make much more money. Han Geng’s case was like that. At the height of Super Junior’s popularity, he suddenly filed a lawsuit against his agency. It is up to each individual’s decision after all. (Smaller entertainment agency staff)

Q. There are other Chinese members in EXO. Is there any possibility for their chain-quitting?

D. The possibility is low. First of all, no other members filed a lawsuit along with him. They aren’t taking action together. Chinese member Tao wrote, “After all, he didn’t come back after deceiving our company and team when we didn’t know what was going on.” Chain-quitting is very unlikely. (Music industry staff)

Q. Will Exo-M’s activities be in trouble without Kris?

D. First of all, they have to do their upcoming concert as a full group and EXO-M’s activities without Kris. Trouble is inevitable. However, it’s unlikely that EXO’s position will be shaken. In EXO-M, Luhan and Xiumin’s popularity is big. Kris’ empty spot is a problem right now but it won’t be an obstacle in the long run. (Big 3 entertainment agency staff)

Q. How do you think the lawsuit will be concluded?

D. SM stated that they will do their best for EXO’s current activities right after Kris’ lawsuit was reported. Since Kris already began a legal battle, it would be hard to expect a smooth agreement. There will likely be adjustments as in the case of Han Geng. Kris will pursue his own career in China. Maybe SM will come up with “Plan B” to fill up Kris’ empty spot. (Music industry staff)

Comments from Naver:
me88****:

The fact that he filed a lawsuit during this busy period means that he has no intention to come back.

rmff****:

I don’t usually like SM but Kris’ fault is big this time.

me88****:

If it was an issue of the contract, why is Kris the only one who made an issue out of 12 members? He abandoned his fellow members to live on his own.

skal****:

It must be like this. He grew up as the only precious son in a rich family. He couldn’t stand the disciplined group life that was expected by SM and trainee life. The effect of the one-child policy in China.

mcca****:

Ha..I’m at a loss for words. A guy who’s supposed to be a leader betrayed his own members..I’m disappointed.

jjas****:

Good. Now Han Geng and Kris can make a duo group named Super Exo.

lvsh****:

Hey, ke ke ke. What kind of company asks an idol in his second year of career for consent to make schedules, ke ke ke. They just do the schedules as they come. Does he think he’s on Cho Yong-pil‘s level? Ke ke ke ke ke.

siri****:

Before considering what SM has done, you should see that everyone in the group has worked hard together to become as famous as now… At least for your fellow members who have helped you become famous, why couldn’t you just finish the upcoming concert? How hard would it be for the remaining 11 members?

porz****:

Even if Kris leaves the group, don’t take a new member. It will be hard to get attached to him.

gain****:

Those who defend Kris must be little kids who had no social life experience. Even for a group project at college, this sort of thing would be considered so irresponsible and inconsiderate. Yes, I think he is spearheading in consideration of other members, too. Indeed, he is spearing his fellow members left and right.

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  • bang2tang

    wow, k-popbang ㅋㅋㅋ

  • walle walle

    The only difference is that Han Geng withdrew his lawsuit when SM appealed
    the first decision which led to intense legal disputes. However SM allowed him to work in China. His new Chinese agency might have taken care of the fees.

    “In a released statement, SM Entertainment stated, “Han Geng has
    acknowledged the exclusive contract and has withdrawn his lawsuit. He
    will remain in China with specialized promotions for the time being.”

    • MintyBadger

      They’ve got ELEVEN other members, somehow I suspect they may be able to get by without him.

      • walle walle

        The other eleven already moved on.

      • bigmamat

        Oh but it messes up their visual and their routine…I say the other 11 androids can just move over 3 ft and plug up the hole.

  • Interesting – I’m conflicted.

    On the one hand “freedom to contract” should be strengthened to encourage growth of the creative economy and provide opportunities for social mobility. (I.e., if the court rules that agencies and entertainers cannot agree to terms they see fit ex ante, it would have a chilling effect on the agencies’ ability to promote rising stars, resulting in less profits, less opportunities for up-and-coming artists and less new music for consumers).

    On the other hand, “freedom from [unjust] contract” is also important (and I make no judgment re whether the contract was, in this particular instance, unjust). It’s easy to imagine a situation where a young, naïve artist-to-be is fleeced by a savvy agency to relinquish control, profits, personality and soul (in order or importance, of course ^^) in exchange for nebulous (and unenforceable) future promises.

    One of the Korean comments was funny: “The big 3 companies [SM, YG and JYP] are listed on the stock market, so they cannot manipulate their profit distribution.” Right…good thing Enron was listed on the stock market…oh, wait….

    If only things were so simple….

    • Exactly.

      He trained for 4 years. I also doubt he signed it all on his own. While he was an adult then, I’m sure there were more experienced parties involved. He’s wealthy as well, he probably hired a lawyer to look it over, or discussed it with his mother.

    • bigmamat

      The company enjoys profits of over 1 billion dollars a year…I think they’ll survive, regardless of the outcome.

      • bang2tang

        1 billion dollar a year, bwahahaha…

        • Chucky3176

          In 2013, the SM Entertainment made $250 million USD.

          • bigmamat

            I looked at the same source…perhaps I shouldn’t have said profits it’s a 1.24 billion dollar company which likely means it value and all it’s assets. I did see that it’s after taxes profit was 250 million which isn’t chump change either for an entertainment production company in a smaller market.

    • Guest

      “It’s easy to imagine a situation where a young, naïve artist-to-be is fleeced by a savvy agency ”
      the problem is that this kris guy isn’t an artist, he’s just an untalented kid

  • Such an excellent topic. K-Pop is my life….so much more important than why a corrupt company and lack of leadership and ethics killed hundreds of school children. Please post more stories about Girls Generation…thanks

    • x1sfg

      I see your k-pop news and raise you Beiber’s antics, and that Kardashian/Kanye wedding on all news outlets.

    • bang2tang

      btw, it’s great K-popbang covering law aspect of this lawsuit, not ungrounded circulating rumor in internet made by his fangirls, lol.

  • mei mei

    he’s a beautiful boy. im even kinda envy of his prettiness lol.

    • rael

      are you a woman or a man?

      • mei mei

        man

        • bang2tang

          rofl, he’s not pretty before SM makeover

          • mei mei

            IMO he’s even look much better without those makeup and anime hairstyles

          • bang2tang

            It seems SM fix his teeth… thanks SM aka visual expert.

          • mei mei

            lol maybe its just his personal choice to fix his teeth

          • Guest

            what’s wrong with getting your teeth fixed? virtually everyone with the financial means would fix their teeth if they were fucked up looking.

  • Anna Presman

    So the EXO shenanigans have finely reached here :). This is actually the first level headed article I’ve read about it. Everywhere else it’s just fangirls wanking, although it is quite hilarious, I have to admit.

  • vonskippy

    Could that group photo be any gayer?

    • bang2tang

      flower boys

    • MyMotto

      Maybe, but look at all the women throwing themselves at them and men questioning their sexuality because of them…

  • Dooble

    11 member group? Will losing 1 robot really make a difference? Will the audience even notice?

  • linette lee

    He is handsome. So his English name is Kris. I know him by 吳亦凡 on Chinese internet. He reminds me of 吳尊. Why would he go all the way to South Korea for a career? He should just go do acting in a Chinese movies company because he has that look that Chinese people would like. Big eyes very shape facial features tall and skinny. A typical Chinese actor. He can do well.

    http://www.jpopasia.com/i1/news/2/7418-0ggo5wcspl.jpg

    • bang2tang

      Taiwanese dramas pretty popular before K-pop craze ㅋㅋㅋ

      • and they died down, lol

  • Kpop-is-a-drug

    “It must be like this. He grew up as the only precious son in a rich family. He couldn’t stand the disciplined group life that was expected by SM and trainee life. The effect of the one-child policy in China”

    First of all, Kris grew up in Canada. Secondly, if he couldn’t stand trainee life, he wouldn’t have trained for 5 years. Thirdly, his parents are divorced, he lives with his mom. And their family is not well off. Before you write something, please educate yourself.

    • Regina

      Kris did not grow up in Canada. He grew up in Guangzhou, his hometown. He didn’t move to Canada until he was a young tween.

      • linette lee

        Really? That means he can speak Cantonese. Guangzhou Canton is right next to Hong Kong.

        • bang2tang

          Yeah you should go to youtube & watch him speaking cantonese…

      • Kpop-is-a-drug

        Oops, did not know that….I just thought he was Canadian

    • bang2tang

      oops

  • bang2tang

    Why Fred Fong delete his comment? damn, my comment got deleted too….

    • moderator deleted my comment….the truth hurts. my comment pertained to Korea focusing on trivial k-pop instead of why a corrupt company and lack of leadership and ethics that caused the death of hundreds of school children. CENSORSHIP is wrong

      • bang2tang

        eh??? but they allow you to keep spamming japancrush with “bukkake” lol…

  • bang2tang

    This article better than rumor/fanfic by delusional fangirls.

    “RT @KOREATOWN Wu Yi-Fan suffering on stage (Photo 3) pic.twitter.com/JNSdrK9KQe”

    Assumption based on one single pic ㅋㅋㅋ

    • linette lee

      I read on the Chinese news the Korean company works him so hard and refused to let him see doctor even though he was not feeling well. Now he developed heart condition. He should sue that Korean company. That is just crazy. You would think South Korea is modern enough to have labor law and all that. Kpop company they manufactured these young idols and don’t pay them well and work them to death. I see now what these kpop companies are doing instead of having their Korean Idols singing in Chinese and Japanese, they just hire Chinese and Japanese and trained them as idols. But when shxt like this happens it gets spread to the Chinese internet. More Chinese know that Kpop companies are evil and mistreat their workers.
      http://www.100yangsheng.com/jkxb/11260.html

      • bang2tang

        How about another perspective, quite interesting assumption.
        Maybe it’s all about SM VS China’s agency.

        mazel 888
        · Posted May 22, 2014 @ 5:00 pm
        First, let me clear up some rumors floating around:
        -SM has control over their SNS accounts. Rumor or not. The EXO members are humans, and they have the right to express their feelings.

        -The biggie: Kris has a heart disease known as myocarditis. FALSE! His friend’s weibo dated to April 19th, the date he was supposed to drop the bomb on SM but was posponed due to Sewol. Kris only went for a checkup May 2nd, weeks after his supposed heart problem. Furthermore, Sina (shady) deleted the report 2 hours after it published, admitting it was false. Furthermore, if Kris indeed did have a heart problem, that
        would’ve been cited as the main concern for the nullification of his contract and he would’ve won with a clean swipe.

        – Kris was supposed drop the bomb on April 19th. It was an open secret on Weibo that Kris had planned to file the lawsuit on April 19, a day before Luhan’s birthday. Sasaeng fans had already said, “Luhan, there’s a surprise for you on your birthday.” I think some of you need to see this from the Chinese media and fans perspective in order to believe some of the things going on right now. Weibo is a total mess right now with fansite accounts being hacked and all sorts of rumors being spread.
        (Sina controls Weibo!)

        – SM is the worst company. I would disagree. Let me just say that SM is not a bad company, and neither are EXO’s conditions compared to other groups. Smaller entertainment companies, what do they put their idols through! What kind of dirty
        hovels of a dorm do they live in. Can they take vacations. SM is just seen as a scapegoat for all fangirls out there whenever there’s a problem. You do understand that Wu YiFan’s PR team has done more damage that SM this entire situation? Smearing campaigns, falsifying reports, spreading rumors.

        Now, if you don’t have a Weibo or go on Baidu,
        you’re probably missing out on a lot things going on. For example, the smearing campaign the occurred 5 days ago. These were searches created to tarnish EXO’s name and their reputation. As of now, Chinese fans do
        not support OT11, it’s only you’re on Kris’s side or OT12. However, fans of Lay are extremely loyal and Luhan has a big backing. Their main target was Tao because of how vulnerable he was. Furthermore, I wouldn’t trust anything on Sina/Tudou/Weibo/Youku. Particularly, Sina/Weibo accounts of fansite masters are being hacked and posts have been going missing. Weibo users file reports and comments, which miraculously disappear. They are legit the largest entertainment company
        in China and even SM is powerless in this situation. No matter how powerful you guys all think SM is, they really aren’t.

        My Take:

        It isn’t about Kris wanting to leave, it’s all about SM’s aggressive
        advancement into China. I believe it was extremely selfish of him to leave, 1 week after Overdose and 1 week before their first solo Concert!This was extremely well played out and strategic planning on his PR teams part, but the smearing was not quite so. Furthermore, all of you guys complaining about EXO M members speaking up about the situation? Saying it’s manipulated? They’re human, and when they do come
        out with statements, you bash them by saying SM made them say it. If they had kept quiet, you fans would’ve been like,
        They’re so cold hearted, not even supporting Kris. Either way if EXO members speak or remain quiet, they’ll always receive backlash.

        Furthermore, if you guys reblogged the article on Koreaboo that said the cause of Kris’s lawsuit was because he was being denied solo activities, it was updated and proven to be false. The interview never took place. Chinaline is ruined, the Chinese public sees them in a bad light due to the tabloids. How will they ever be able to stand on Chinese shows or give interviews in China without feeling awkward and uninvited.
        Sina/Weibo/Tudou/Youku control many of the interviews that they go on if you haven’t noticed.

        These boys have worked extremely hard for
        this concert, months of preparation, loads of money and investment put into this. Staff members, choreography, everything. When one person calls quits, I think all of you understand what happens. The amount of money that is lost, and leaving the EXO members less than 1 week to
        relearn new choreo positions admist all the chaos.

        Bash me all you want, but I’m for OT11. I just don’t see Kris as “innocent” per say.
        He called it quits and his law firm cites mistreatment and unfairness as reasons. If you were fed instant ramen, weren’t all of EXO fed that same ramen? If you wanted more solo activities, doesn’t everyone. Luhan isn’t leaving, Lay isn’t leaving, Tao isn’t leaving. They’re not complaining. In fact, they’ll come out stronger and better.

        It’s hard for the one who leaves, but harder for the ones who stay.

        • linette lee

          hahaha. Sorry, I am not familiar with this whatever lawsuit. I am just going by what was published on Chinese news about Wu YiFan. But they also said that Korean company has a long history of lawsuits with their idols complaining about terrible working condition. I am not surprised that this Korean company mistreated Wu Yi Fan and overworked him and not allowed him to see doctor. He was training in Korea for a long time right. So now he is in the boy group why all the sudden he is suing against his company his boss? Lawsuit is very stressful and time consuming and cost money and is a financial burden. When people sue they usually have really good legitimate reasons.

          And I don’t understand the whole deal about Weibo and Sina and youku etc..what are you saying? Are you writing a novel? This is tabloids and gossips . China internet they write shit sensationalized stories all the time to get views.

      • Kpop Addict

        I say this as a person born in the country that’s totally crazy about Kpop, but unless you make it in Kpop and Korea, you’re not going to make it as a star in Asia. Whether you like it or not, Korea is Asia’s equivalent of American MTV or Billboards. Kris would have been just a nobody without SM and Kpop. Now that he was polished, trained to sing and dance, and made into a star by SM, he wants to ditch them at the last moment to betray his group. What a douche bag. Maybe he can be big star in China, by riding on the back of the Kpop’s reputation , like Han Geng did, but that’s where his fame will start and end. He will never be a big non-Korean Asian stars like Nichkhun, Henry, or Victoria.

        • linette lee

          I see I am dealing with kpop fan girl here. Okay, let me explain to you. The biggest entertainment industries in the world are 1)USA 2)China 3)Indian Bollywood. It’s no secret that celebrities from those three countries enjoy the highest fame and income due to the size of those market. For example, a B actor in Chinese movie industry can make probably up to 5 million USA dollars per movie, A list actor can go as high as 15 millions USA dollar per movie. Plus whatever percentage they are getting if movie does well. In USA Brad Pitt A list actor was getting 20 millions per movie. The same thing with their singers. Chinese singers in the Chinese market..”People With Money reports on Thursday (May 22) that Lau is the highest-paid singer in Asia, pulling in an astonishing $58 million between April 2013 and April 2014….”

          So meaning even if he ends up being a B list actor or singer, chances are he would still probably pull in a higher income and enjoy a higher fame in the Chinese industry. More people would know him but most of them are Chinese and there are 1.4 billions Chinese in China, plus Chinese in Taiwan, HK, just basically Chinese in every countries in the world. That would be 1/7 of world population. And you will have a hard time convincing me that kpop fans make up 1/7 of world population. Most Chinese are not fans of Kpop. Kpop has its special group of audience. Mostly consist of teenage girls. Maybe 80% of Chinese market are not kpop fans. Just like most of the USA market are not Kpop fans.

          And most Chinese people don’t know Kris but they heard of Wu yiFAn or have seen his face on the Chinese media. I didn’t know his name is Kris but I recognize his face on the Chinese media and I’ve heard of the name Wu YiFAn. And the rest you mentioned Victoria…..etc…I bet most Chinese and Americans don’t know them.

          • Kpop Addict

            I agree with you about America, but China? Population size isn’t everything. And all 1.4 billions Chinese like C-pop? I don’t think so. I can honestly say that fans of K-pop out number C-pop, when you take into consideration that K-pop appeals to all of East and South East Asia, including China, and even in Chinese markets – versus C-pop which only appeal to the Chinese who are not even all C-pop fans. Sorry I’m not just saying this because I’m a kpop fan girl, but because that’s the truth. I even dare say, my country’s Nichkhun is far more famous in Asia (including China) than any of the Chinese C-pop stars in China.

          • linette lee

            Do you watch China tv program? You do not know Chinese industry or their celebrities because you are not Chinese and don’t speak Chinese. Go ask a regular Chinese person on the street and see if they know your country Nichkhun. LOL. Then go ask them if they know Jay Chou, JJ lin, GEM, EAson,,,etc…9 out of 10 Chinese will know them and their songs, but 9 out of 10 Chinese have no clue who’s Nichkhun. ;)
            A non Chinese person telling me what we listen on our TV.

            Also usually star power of a celebrity is directly proportional to his income. May I ask you what is Nichkhun average annual income globally. Usually the number of people buying his music and going to his concerts will affect his income.

          • linette lee
          • kelli321

            You know nothing of cpop to make such conclusions. The kpop you are familar with consists mainly of idols and is idol pop group dominated. Whereas in China it’s the soloists artists that have the most popularity. Idol pop is not respected in China, hence why its not as big nor developed. There are pop fans in China but they aren’t a majority but enough for Korea to give a damn.
            If you really think the population of China is not important then why do you think all these Korean companies are still so eagar to recruit Chinese members? How many Chinese artists have been scouted by korean companies verses any other ethnicity aside from Korean themselves?
            Kpop according to you may have captured the obsession of some south east asian countries etc but you havent really given any correct stats. How are you measuring popularity? By the number of friends you’ve talked to? By the comments you’ve read on kpop websites?
            Keep in mind China doesn’t use youtube google or twitter, their equivalent of twitter would be weibo and a popular cpop artist could easily get 20 million followers or more. Just to get a perspective, find me the highest number of followers of a kpop artist on twitter/instagram or whatever you think represents international kpop fans the most.

    • Yaminah Jamison

      Because fangirls are pyscho! They’re the most pyscho people around. (Fangirls in general globally)

  • MyMotto

    Meh I’m on Kris’s side. SM is known for treating their idols shitty. Beating, starving, overworking etc. It’s not really shocking in an Asian entertainment company. Idols work for the agency not the other way around there.

    Don’t know why he’s saying he’s going to stay or trying to stay…he’s better of leaving although I doubt he can make it solo…atleast he knows his rights I guess.

  • bang2tang

    LMAO at thi tweet. Great imagination. And this acc still have 150K followers, weird, lololol

    @KOREATOWN
    All those years he was forced to eat kimchi. Our poor baby.

  • rich carter

    this is the last time that SM or any korean entertainment company will bother to sign chinese members, investing millions into them, and debuting them. hangang and kris has effectively shut the door on that and good riddance for that. I never understood the reason for companies like SM signing these token chinese members. the chinese are simply not trust worthy people. they will never be grateful and just stab you in the back the first chance they get. if you think I am exaggerating or generalizing just talk to any business people who dealt with them, you will not hear any kind words from them either. the korean netizens are saying the same thing. They don’t understand what the point of signing these chinese members are since they are not trusty worthy or grateful for the chance they got from companiese like SM. the actions of the two have also put more pressure on other chinese kpop stars. the netizens are already wondering when other chinese members in the kpop industry will try to break their contracts. None of the Chinese kpop stars can sing or dance better than korean members and it takes years for them to speak decent korean. Despite china being a huge market you cannot make any money there if you are trying to sell media content do to rampant piracy. The only revenue that SM gets is from touring and that is it. I repeat there is no reason to sign these token chinese members. Korean companies like SM will spend millions to train these kids and once they are established some chinese entertainment company will come along behind closed doors and try to steal these kids. i can guarantee you that kris has had illegal contact with other agencies and has already picked out a chinese agency and will try to be a star in china. this has been planned for months by kris behind everyones back. he definitely couldn’t have done it by himself. I would bet my life that he got in contact with some chinese brokers who got him connected with a large chinese agency who helped to engineered the whole thing. All this media manipulation by kris’ new representation about his health is just utter bullshit. He screwed SM and everyone in EXO so he can benefit himself. anyone who can’t see that is either blind, stupid, or delusional.

    • bang2tang

      Duh they want to grab mainland music market (signing agreement with baidu). Don’t forget fangirls wouldn’t mind buying in bulk to support their idol in chart.

      Don’t forget Zhoumi, Henry, Li Yin, Vic, & Amber, They’re all chinese. Unless you count Taiwanese & HK’ers as non chinese.
      Btw I’m waiting for Kris new movie released soon,and reaction of his stan. LOL.

      • It can be too late but Taiwanese and HKers HATE to be called “chinese”!

    • Businessman

      what’s wrong rich? did you get rickrolled by a Chinaman and couldn’t live down your twisted view that a smart white man could ever be outsmarted by inferior colored, so you now troll the forums writing essays on how all Chinese are wicked and traitorous?

      But of course, the real kicker is that despite your retard racist rant, Chinese talents will continue to be signed because even though a few quit, they bring in the exposure and the money these companies crave. Unlike yourself who fail.

    • MadeinKorea

      of course, its perfectly ok for companies like SM to slap these kids with ridiculous, exploitative decade long contracts that restrict their earning potentials and inhumane conditions and obligations in order to extract maximum benefit from young talents before spitting them back out and finding the next face of the month.
      but then, they should be grateful to be even allowed into a glorious nation such as south korea and devote fully to the benevolent companies who are not there to make a profit at all and always only think of their employees

      • rich carter

        hahaha! you actually think the labor situation is better in china? believe me the shit is infinitely worse there. the only reason why the korean entertainment industry is singled out for its labor practices is because of the massive global popularity of hallyu, if china’s entertainment industry had the same sort of global fan base and popularity people would be sickened by what was going on in the industry. People like you actually seem to think that kris or hangeng would have been treated so much better by a chinese agency if they had started out there which is utter bullshit. While they would have had the comfort of staying in a culture that they were familiar with I can guarantee you that the labor conditions or the contracts would have been worse. The only reason why kris or hangeng will get to sign a more favorable contract with chinese agencies will be because they are now internationally known commodity as a result of SM investing millions into their development. SM has basically done the hardest and the most expensive part of their development and now backstabbers like Kris and hangeng, along with their new chinese agency get to reap the benefits. The problem is that people like you want companies like SM to be a charity when they are a profit driven company. They deserve a return on the massive investment they made. Here is the simpe math, he has to share the profit with 11 other people and a company that invested millions into him and expect returns. he is a chinese which means he will never be as popular as korean members or promoted as heavily as them except for in china. he knows his primary market is in china and that is where most of this earning is going to be at. he just went for his riches by cutting sm and other 11 exo members out of the equation. that is why he is trying to break a legally binding contract with sm.

        • linette lee

          hahaha..you Koreans again with Kpop is internationally famous. Let me turn on my USA TV and watch KPOP. Geezzz..how come no kpop? Let me tell you something. In USA 999 out of 1000 never heard of Kpop don’t like Kpop. And that 1 out of 1000 is most likely Korean. Stop being so delusional already. Kpop has their own group of kpop fans but it’s definitely not mainstream. USA, Laitin, Bollywood, and Chinese have bigger music industry than kpop for their own people.

          Your Kpop company invested millions into PRODUCTION which include hiring western choreographers and songwriters. Very little is going to the kpop idols because they don’t get paid that well. They are just little slaves with no say and must dance the dance sing the songs. They are just slaves.

          • rich carter

            tell that to r kelly, outkast, will I am, swizz beatz, Usher, justin biever, snoop dogg, lady gaga, teddy riley, and quincy jones who are huge fans of kpop and some of the biggest stars in the world who are fascinated with k-pop. whether you like to admit it or not hallyu is a global phenemenon that has been sweeping the world for more than 10 years, some of the most influential media report such as cnn, wall street journal, and time that are in the western world has reported on its global dominance for years. How do you explain psy’s 2 billion plus views on youtube? what about the billions of hits that my love from the stars got from chinese viewers? the restrictioons that chinese government imposed on the number of korean tv shows that can be aired on chinese tv because they were dominating all the timeslots? You think it is the koreans who are going to all these expensive concerts that are held in america and europe? How many chinese or bollywood stars can hold concerts in venues that hold thousands in other countries and sell it out? Can anyone from those markets sell out the madison square garden? Other than hollywood korean entertainment industry is the most influential and the significant market in the world. The korean male celebrities are also the highest paid entertainers outside of hollywood. it is reported that kim soo hyun will make more than 40 million dollars by the end of the year and bae young joon who is the head of keyeast will make more than that. You think that would be possible if korean entertainment industry was smaller than both bollywood and china?
            You make it sound as if your little chinese friends don’t hire foreign choreographer or song writers. Many chinese companies hire korean choreographers and songwriters along with western ones. most people who are not artists like r kelly who can do every aspect of making music are slaves by your definition. You think people like lady gaga, madonna, and justin biever write, produce and choreograph their own music? they might have more say in the decision making process but people who can do all those things by themselves are a tiny minority in any country.

          • linette lee

            Wow, you sure are obsess with kpop. LOL very typical. How much does a Korean celebrity make? You can go on and on about this and that but reality is Kpop is not on USA TV. And for the Chinese, the Chinese celebrities are making more money in the Chinese market. And no Kdrama don’t dominate tv spot in Chinese stations. Were do you get that from? Chinese watch all kinds of dramas, like Korean, taiwan, hong kong , china, USA, used to be Japanese too but no anymore due to dispute.
            Pyche got billions views thank to Kpop fans and their never tiring clicking fingers. LOL.

            But yeah, I am really curious how much Korean celebrities make. Maybe you can show me some numbers because I never bother to go find out. I know how much Hollywood stars and Chinese celebrities makes due to Forbes. They never mention Koreans. I also know Bollywood celebrities make lots of money. Latin stars like Ricky Martin and JLo their huge Latin industry they make tons of money too.

          • rich carter

            it is reported that kim soo hyun made 18 million dollars in two month and will make more than 40 million dollars by the end of the year. just type kim soo hyun with dollars on google. That is on par with any A list celebrity working in hollywood. Of course this is probably a bit of an anomaly since he is at the height of his career after the global success of you who came from the stars. bae young joon who is the head of keyeast which represents kim soo hyun will probably make more than that and he hasn’t made a movie or a tv show in years.

          • linette lee

            Really? $40 million USA dollars? How I am not sure who he is though. Is he that guy in that drama a guy from another planet or something. But how come they never list him on Forbes. It’s strange but I just google Forbe Korea and they don’t mention their salary. But if you see USA and Chinese they give you an estimate. But I have to say some of the Chinese numbers are off because on our Chinese internet they actually make enough more due to commercials and they have sponsors in the Chinese market.

          • rich carter

            Because you live in a bubble that is hollywood and Chinese entertainemnt industry and refuse to acknoledge the global influence of hallyu. Hallyu is not some made up bullshit that koreans like to brag about. it is a global phenemenon that is being studied by some of the most prestigious educational institutions worldwide. There is a reason why I wanted to work in the korean entertainment industry and the financial aspect of it. the chinese actors who typically make more than 10 million dollars are the ones who work in hollywood action movies such as jackie chan, chow yun fat, zhanf ziyi, and jet li. I know that those guys typically make around 10 million or more per movie but korean male actors aren’t paid as much for making movies or tv show. they get majority of their income with the success of these movies and tv shows and the resulting endorsement opportunities. Forbes korea doesn’t doesn’t have a proper english translation site but non translated sites do show how much the celebrities make.

          • linette lee

            You are very ignorant. Those except for Jacky chan,, the ones in Hollywood movies are actually making less compare the ones that’s popular in Chinese industry. Zhang ziyi is not even in top 50 in Chinese money magazine. LOL.

          • rich carter

            of course zhang ziyi, jet li, and chow yun fat are not on the list because they haven’t made hollywood movies in a while and hasn’t been as active. When they make one they can get around 8 to 10 million per.

          • linette lee

            Even when zhang ziyi was making movies she wasn’t the top 50 in the Chinese magazines. The celebrities in Chinese films can make more than 10 millions usa dollars per movies due to they also can get percentage from the profit on that contract. Let say If the film gross 1 billions usa dollars across Chinese countries around world even 1% means 10 millions usa dollars and the A list probably get more than 1%. And that’s one movie so they do two movies per year and they are already in Forbes and they don’t need to do anything else for the rest of the year.

          • linette lee

            Anyway I am not going to go on talking about silly things. but next time think before you open your mouth insulting Chinese and their celebrities. The Korea entertainment industry is too small compare the USA,China, Bollywood, and Latin. You guys don’t have that type of big budget production in films compare to USA and China. And to say Chinese are dying to work in the South Korea industry over the Chinese industry is a major joke. The Chinese will laugh at you. Especially when you know the Koreans are dying to get into Chinese market.

          • mei mei

            no. compare to China, bollywood, latin. Korean’s industry has larger fans. Kpop and K-dramas even have fans in Africa and Midle-east countries.

          • linette lee

            你真的這麼認為嗎? 你看中國內地的電視節目嗎? 大多數中國人看中國內地戲劇和電影., 香港和韓國戲劇和電影他們也會看. 但中國內地市場大韓國很多.

          • mei mei

            well, its because China has more population but i meant that K-entertainment have Diversity Fans in many different countries

          • linette lee

            Diversity has nothing to do with the size of the viewers or the size of the market. Yes, Korea entertainment has more diversity they use Youtube and most songs are in Chinese, korean, Japanese, and even English. They translate everything into those 4 languages on Youtube so they can have diversity in fans. But definitely their market is not bigger than USA, china, bollywood, and Latin.

          • linette lee

            …There is a reason why I wanted to work in the korean entertainment industry and the financial aspect of it…

            oh…I get it. I totally missed that one. You mean you want to be a kpop idol. Okay. Go ahead, is that why you criticize Kris for trying to get out of the kpop idol industry? He is dying to get out but you want in. I don’t want to see you in the future complaining the kpop company treats you like slave. Just be careful and do some research.

          • linette lee

            r kelly, outkast, will I am, swizz beatz, Usher, justin biever, snoop dogg, lady gaga, teddy riley, and quincy jones who are huge fans of kpop …….

            This part alone will make people laugh. Stop it. Can you imagine snoop dogg smoking marijuana watching Girl Generation. You wonder why he likes Kpop if he really even know Kpop. I am sure he is a big fan of Kpop. LOL.

          • rich carter
          • rich carter

            you do realize will i am frequently visits korea because of his love for YG label which represents big bang and 2ne1 right? He has talked endlessly about wanting to bring them to the mainstream american audience. you don’t really seem to know what you are talking about. I am fascinated by this topic because I majored in international business and korean language. I want to work in the entertainment industry there.

          • linette lee

            I like William also and I listen to his songs . I know he went to South korea and he worked with some Kpop idols. He also visited China but didn’t get on the China stage, but he did mention his dream about on stage performing to audience in Bird Nest stadium in China. But William never took any solid steps about establishing a Kpop music company in USA. So you don’t need to exaggerate because I listen to black eyed peas.

            Also many American singers also performed in china stage. Usher worked with Lee hom wang. Jay Chou wrote songs for Sprite company with Kobe Bryant in commercials singing. Avril lavigne in concerts with other Chinese singers. Linkin Park in Chinese concert. What’s the big fuss about it? It’s like that all the time. Chinese companies collaborate with Hollywood all the time also. Many Chinese directors won Oscar awards. I don’t see it as anything big deal.

            So what’s the big deal about Korea collaborating with western? Don’t exaggerate making it sound like it’s in the USA mainstream market taking over the world. You kpop fans are so funny. LOL.

          • Guest

            Jesus, Teddy Riley is “The Boys” and Rania producer, I doubt if he was a fan of K-pop, lol.

    • linette lee

      I hope these slave factory Korean companies don’t sign anymore Chinese kids. It’s hard for me to watch them being abused and mistreated like that. Actually it’s hard for me to see any kids being mistreated by big companies sucking the lives out of them.
      You Koreans may want to find another way to get into the Chinese market but don’t torture those poor Chinese kids.

      • rich carter

        wow you seem to be delusional enough to think that the working conditions for these chinese kids would be so much better in china and that theses poor sellout chinese kids won’t be exploited there. Kris and hangeng are the ones who are exploiting the millions that SM invested into their development by making illegal deals with chinese agencies. They are hardly victims and are in fact opportunists.

        • linette lee

          How does SM invested millions into these kids? Feeding them potato chips and kimchi let them live in a big luxury mansion? LOL. Even college tuition don’t cost millions in USA and USA has one of the highest college fee. Hiring dancing and singing teachers don’t required millions. Who are you joking?
          And if you say the Korean company gave them opportunity I can also say these kids gave the Korean company opportunity because 1)They only hire good looking kids. The kids themselves have what the Korean company is looking for. 2)The kids are bilingual can speak or capable to learn both Korean and Chinese and that’s talent. Language ability is talent not too many people have. I don’t see Koreans can speak Chinese hardly. And you know Korean company is trying very hard to get into the Chinese market. 3)The kids themselves must have some talents, they can not be completely stupid.

          So in reality the kpop company needs the idols as much as the idols need kpop company. The company pay to train them and the idols work making profit for the company. They need each other to survive. And I am sure not all kids are the same, there are some more pretty and more talented than the other. Those are their stars big money maker.

          • bang2tang

            What a BS, feeding them kimchi & potato chips? haha are you got this “fact” from delusional @koreatown ???
            Don’t forget to count their stylish aka coordi noona, makeup, outfit, expensive fancy MV (that attract koreanboo) to your budget.

        • linette lee

          I can’t say about the working condition in Chinese entertainment industry, but I say they do get better pay most of the time.

        • Maria Bae

          Honestly there are just using each other. SM and other entertainment companies use the Chinese artist to gain exposure in that country (remember they sing in Mandarin and do their interviews in Mandarin which the Korean members can’t speak), whereas the Chinese artist uses the Korean company as a springboard to get famous. I think Rich is right in the sense that most of them probably hope to return to China once they are famous where the conditions are better (for famous people), the companies less controlled and they have more freedom. Remember Han Geng made so much more money after he left by doing some (pretty crappy) movies, he was earning a pittance with SJ.

          I don’t doubt Kris is telling the truth when he says the conditions are bad but that’s across the board for all KPOP stars. He would have known about it going into it. The Korean companies are not investing in all these trainees out of the goodness of their hearts either- they are hoping a couple of them will make it big and earn $$ back for them. Unfortunately people only live once and Kris is capitalizing on his popularity now by trying to get of the contract (I won’t say break because I’m pretty sure that SM violated it by working the members unconscionably – but that’s pretty much to be expected going into it as I said). So form a strictly legal perspective I think he’s okay. It’s whether or not from a ethical perspective he’s right is debatable, on one hand everyone has the right to try to save themselves if they’re really unhappy, but then there is loyalty to the company etc etc

          To be honest I think if Kris wins, Rich is right that it WILL cause other members to definitely think about quitting too. Remember Chinese members don’t have the same loyalty to Korea and Korean companies that Korean members do. It’s because any shame imposed on them by the Korean entertainment industry and people won’t mean anything to them, they can just shrug it off and go make money in their own country and never return to Korea again if they wish. For a Korean artist its different, they need to keep their reputation since this is their only country for their career.

          However whether or not SM or YG or any other company invests in Chinese artists in the future will all depend on how much profit or loss they can forsee from their Chinese members. EXO-M has made their considerable money already. Even if Kris wins in court they may weigh up the losses, and continue to do it anyway. It’s a business guys.

    • davemartn

      What rubbish lmao. That was beyond delusional.

  • goldengluvsk2

    this might sound crazy but that others arent complaining dont mean things are okay… If it were other company, I mind doubt this but SM is known for their contract drama pretty much since they were founded tbh… Some SJ members said they didnt know about Hangeng’s discomfort or couldnt understand what he did or see nothing wrong with the contracts BUT they got rid of those absurd 13 years slave contracts thanks to him. I just hope he can win the lawsuit, get his freedom, his money and run to the hills!

  • Insomnicide

    Either he’s got heart disease, or his mother has.
    Either way, SM isn’t letting him take care of things and I wouldn’t call this lawsuit unreasonable.

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