South Korea’s Supreme Court has dismissed EXO’s ex-member Tao’s appeal, and declared that the exclusive contract between SM Entertainment and Tao is still valid.
On Tuesday, 20 March, SM Entertainment declared that South Korea’s Supreme Court has dismissed a lawsuit by Tao, former Chinese member of K-pop act EXO, to nullify his exclusive contract with the agency.
“The Supreme Court dismissed Tao’s appeal on March 15, 2018, on the status of his exclusive contract,” said SM Entertainment in a statement. “It has become clear that the exclusive contract between S.M. and Tao is valid and must be complied with,” the agency said.
SM Entertainment welcomed the court’s ruling.
“We will continuously work to make sure that our affiliates in China and other countries are not harmed, and we will work to healthy promote and develop the entertainment industry in both South Korea and China,” the company added.
Tao (real name Huang Zitao) is a Chinese rapper, singer-songwriter, model and actor. He is a former member of the South Korean-Chinese boy group EXO. In 2015, he made his solo debut with the mini-album T.A.O, under the new stage name Z.Tao.
In August 2015 he filled a lawsuit against SM Entertainment, after leaving the group without approval with two other Chinese members: Kris and Luhan, and started to engage in non-contracted entertainment activities with various other companies.
Tao claimed the 10-year contract had unjust terms and said he lacks freedom due to the long contract period. Kris and Luhan settled with SM Entertainment in 2016.
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