Following Tao’s recent lawsuit against SM Entertainment to end his exclusive contract, SM has come right back with a legal jab — one thrown by the agency several times before — in order to prevent Tao’s Chinese entertainment activities. The song remains the same.
On September 22, SM Entertainment released a statement regarding the lawsuit.
In the statement, the agency mentions the previous cases of Wu Yi Fan (formerly EXO’s Kris) and Luhan, who, they said, engaged in illegal individual activities in China in February and July of last year. SM states that, like in their cases against Luhan and Wu Yi Fan, they are now suing Tao and the album production company helping Tao with his entertainment activities. The lawsuit was submitted on September 18 to Beijing courts.
“In order to protect [SM] and EXO’s rights and interests from Tao’s continued illegal activities, and to prevent well-intentioned companies from getting involved in said illegal activities, we’d like to state the following,” says SM Entertainment.
“In April of 2015, Tao was already working with another company to create his own album, and he left SM and his team without permission. Moreover, in July of the same year, he released a mini album and continued to engage in illegal solo entertainment activities. While using what he gained with EXO to his advantage, appearing in advertisements, broadcasts, etc., he suddenly sued SM Entertainment on August 24, 2015.”
SM continues, “Until a final verdict has been reached, Tao is required to stay true to the obligations and duties outlined by his contract, and he cannot carry out [other] entertainment activities.”
According to SM, various organizations in China, including the Publishers’ Association of China, reached the conclusion that from the aspect of workplace ethics, “the contract must be respected, and one should not engage in actions affecting the faith and order of the industry.”
“[Wu Yi Fan], Luhan, and Tao are not respecting their contracts,” says SM. “Rather than faith, they are pursuing immediate monetary profit, unilaterally trying to back out of their exclusive contracts, in what is clearly a breach of the original contract terms. They are negatively affecting the promotion of cultural exchange and cooperation between Korea and China in the private sector, and are affecting well-intentioned third parties, as well.”