Government Agency Shares Results Of Investigation Of Bulk Buying Accusations Against MOMOLAND; Hanteo Chart Responds
Updates have been shared about the investigation into allegations of bulk buying of MOMOLAND’s recent mini album.
MOMOLAND was surrounded by controversy earlier this year following the sudden rise in sales of their mini album “GREAT!” According to data from the Korean music sales chart Hanteo Chart, “GREAT!” sold 8,261 copies on the single day of February 12, which was almost double the number of albums MOMOLAND had sold in the entire month of January. This led to allegations of “sajaegi,” a term used to describe when an artist’s own agency manipulates album sales numbers through bulk buying.
Hanteo Chart requested details and proof of sales from the store at which over 90 percent of MOMOLAND’s mini album sales had occurred. The store provided documents on February 19, but Hanteo Chart requested an additional response from them after they discovered errors such as in the swift code on invoices and wire transfer certificates. They also stated that the information they received from the store did not provide an accurate explanation compared to what has been seen in similar cases.
After the store was unable to provide documents that would answer Hanteo Chart’s questions, Hanteo Chart filed a petition with the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism to request an investigation into the accusations.
On May 9, the news outlet CBS No Cut reported that the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism sent an official document to Hanteo Chart on May 2 about the results of their first investigation into the sajaegi allegations regarding MOMOLAND’s mini album.
The Ministry stated in the document, “The purchasing of MOMOLAND’s album has been determined to be for a contract of a business nature between the export-import and distribution company ‘A’ and a local Japanese promotions company.” They also stated, “As it would be difficult to view this as done with the goal of intentionally raising sales, there are no issues.”
However, Hanteo Chart has stated that they cannot accept the results of the investigation.
The Ministry had allowed for there to be objections made to their first results until May 11. Hanteo Chart has responded by requesting that documents related to the investigation be made public, and also called for a detailed explanation of factors such as who purchased MOMOLAND’s albums, the total sales of the album and the price per unit, and how several thousand albums were transported.
Hanteo Chart has expressed concerns that if this matter comes to an end without a detailed explanation, similar controversies will occur in the future.