Former EXO member Kris has yet to sign with any label or agency contracts after leaving the group and pursuing his career in China, despite approaching some of the largest Chinese entertainment companies.Industry officials estimate that Luhan, who also recently filed a lawsuit against SM Entertainment for the nullification of his contract, will also face similar obstacles as Kris.
It has been five months since Kris filed a lawsuit against SM Entertainment and left to China. However, Kris is currently unable to find a new entertainment company.
According to Chinese industry officials, Kris first approached YUEHUA Entertainment, one of the top entertainment company in China, but was rejected when trying to land a contract. Kris later also met with Huayi Entertainment, but it seems that it wasn’t easy for him to get a contract. It seems that even the large companies, having the ability and power to shed Kris’s image as a “deserter” and make him a star, are hesitant in signing with him.
Because China doesn’t have South Korea’s idol developing and marketing system, China’s few large corporate like entertainment companies have a great deal of influence and power in the industry. But it seems that the two largest companies’ decisions not to sign with Kris will be a bump on the road for him in chasing the dream to become the “second Hangeng”. Former Super Junior member Hangeng (Hankyung) has reached the peak of his stardom in China after filing the same lawsuit against SM Entertainment back in 2009.
Despite Hangeng’s success, it seems that the reason why the large companies’ are being hesitant in chasing the contract with Kris is because of the worry for the future in dealing with Korean entertainment industry. In reality, many are interested in investing in the Korean industry. For example, Yuehua Entertainment has pursued a deal with Son Dam Bi’s entertainment company Pledis Entertainment and working with Jang Tae Yu, producer of the SBS drama You Who Came From The Stars, in production of a future film. Huayi Entertainment has signed a partnership contract with Lee Minho’s entertainment company Star House and is also heavily invested in the production of the Korean film Mister Go.
Yuehua Entertainment CEO commented on October 10th regarding Luhan’s lawsuit (Sina.com) that they “have nothing to do with this case” and that “SM Entertainment is a role model we need to learn from. We will also develop and train stars of our own as well.”
In addition, it is hard not to ignore the media reports in China that Kris and Luhan have “thrown away their loyalty and have abandoned their team.” An official from Hunan Satellite TV in China commented regarding the matter that “it is disrespectful to choose to leave for personal gain while their popularity has reached its peak and even fans are seeing these actions as selfish actions that are destroying.”
The above article is a direct translation, and originally written by Kim Won Kyeom of Sports Donga. Original article can be found here.