Huang Zitao a.k.a Tao, a former member of the popular South Korean Chinese boyband EXO, lost his legal battle against record label SM Entertainment on Friday, April 28.
The 23-year-old rapper had filed a contract nullification case against the entertainment agency in August 2015, citing the firm's unfair treatment and exploitation of human rights as reasons. Although both the parties were involved in several court-ordered mediations during the last few months, they failed to come to an agreement.
While the Chinese entertainer claimed that discrimination between Korean and Chinese members as well as uneven distribution of profit forced him to leave the musical groups, the record label stated that it did not do anything illegal.
Although the legal representative of Tao argued in court that the entertainment agency included unjust terms in their management contract, the defense attorney of SM Entertainment denied the claims.
"The contract we used was based on a standard contract provided by the Fair Trade Commission so there is nothing that could be of issue in the contract," Soompi quoted the lawyer.
After the hearing, the Seoul Central District Court turned down former EXO member's request to nullify his contract with the South Korean company and the firm released an official statement welcoming the verdict. Check out the complete statement below (via AllKpop):
Hello, this is SM Entertainment.
On April 28, 2017, the Seoul Central District Court concluded the dismissal of Tao's claim to reexamine the efficiency of his exclusive contract. As a result, his entire lawsuit has been made void.
SM Entertainment welcomes the court's decision, and promises to carry out even more active business in China and Asia. Through this decision, we also hope that a system of abiding by the terms of fair entertainment contracts will be practiced widely, and expect further developments in the progress of entertainment industries in Korea, China, and the rest of Asia.