Chinese media outlets reported that the Huang Zitao lawsuit has been dismissed in China. The lawsuit, which involved former EXO member Tao and SM Entertainment, was dismissed some time during November. According to Tao’s lawyer, the Chinese court recognized Tao’s right to use his name and pursue activities in China.
Before leaving SM Entertainment, Tao was a member of the group EXO. He was a rapper and also a member of the group’s Chinese sub-unit, EXO-M. The rapper left the group due to health issues.
Huang Zitao Lawsuit: What is it about?
— 약속 | Forever EXO-L (@Xiuchen__2199) December 11, 2016
There were several lawsuits that SM Entertainment had against Tao. In October 2015, SM Entertainment filed a lawsuit against the artist for his “temporary payment claim.” According to All KPop, Tao asked for a temporary pay after leaving EXO without prior notice. The agency won the case in January 2016 because the Chinese court ruled that Tao must pay the entertainment back with an added interest.
Another Huang Zitao lawsuit was about Tao’s right to promote in China using his name. The Chinese court ruled in favor of Tao and granted him the right to pursue individual activities in the country. However, a representative from SM Entertainment claim they will make an appeal over the case.
“We plan to appeal to this with a claim that one clause was not taken into consideration properly. This also does not have any effect on the other lawsuits. The legal battle is still ongoing,” the representative said.
Some Similar Cases Against SM Entertainment
Fans of boy group EXO remember 2014 as a dark year for the group. Before Tao left, Wu Yifan (formerly Kris) left in the middle of their promotions for their comeback Overdose. Lu Han left shortly after, much to the shock of the fans. The two then filed a lawsuit against SM Entertainment to breach their contracts under the agency.
In 2015, in the middle of their Call Me Baby promotions, Tao left EXO after his father posted a letter. Shortly after leaving EXO, Tao began to make individual promotions in China, which led SM to file lawsuits against the artist.
This is not the first time SM Entertainment experienced artists filing lawsuits against them. Back in 2009, former Super Junior member Hangeng filed a lawsuit due to unfair treatment. The lawsuit was finally settled in 2011, with Hangeng and SM Entertainment settling on an unspecified mutual agreement.
— 2⁴/7⚡Asian Boys (@wink_dantae) November 25, 2016