Update: SM Entertainment has denied the rumors surrounding EXO Tao in a statement to Star News: “The Chinese media report from April 16 about EXO’s Tao canceling his contract [with SM] isn’t true.”
It seems there has been a lot of poking and prodding at EXO members Lay and Tao of late; rumors of Tao leaving EXO have surfaced yet again, following a report from China’s largest video site iQiyi on April 16, which stated, “While SM Entertainment stated during a recent variety program that EXO’s Chinese member Tao is briefly resting due to an injury, it has been confirmed that Tao has expressed his desire to cancel his contract with SM.”
On the heels of this report was a tidal wave of visitors to Chinese social networking site Weibo, shooting Tao to the top of Weibo’s “most searched” list.
Similar talk had come up earlier in March of this year as well, following a report by media outlet Sina, claiming that Tao would be signing with Huayi Brothers in China. These rumors were quickly quelled, however, with an incredulous comment from a Huayi Brothers representative: “So it is possible for false news to sell like this. It seems like someone has an ulterior motive. We’re just quietly filming movies here.”
Tao has thus far been unable to perform with EXO during “Call Me Baby” promotions due to his ankle injury, but earlier expressed during a press conference that he has recovered a lot, and is upset that he hasn’t been able to perform.