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Kris, Luhan under attack from SM

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Published : Feb 16, 2015 - 18:32 / Updated : Feb 16, 2015 - 18:32

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(OSEN)

At first, everything seemed like smooth sailing for former EXO members Kris and Luhan who launched their solo careers in China despite their controversial exit from Korean-Chinese boy band EXO.

Kris filed a lawsuit against his ex-label SM Entertainment in May last year, demanding the nullification of his exclusive contract with the nation’s largest label. Luhan followed suit in October.

Defying the speculation that their future career would be hit hard by the abrupt exit, Kris and Luhan have fared rather well in China, starring in several films and TV series.

But now, the two appear to be hit with the aftereffects of their legal action against the industry giant.

Kris and Luhan were scheduled to appear in the Chinese Lunar New Year’s TV program “New Year’s Gala.” The TV show is the most watched in China during the holiday period, recording over 700 million viewers on average.

But the broadcaster, CCTV, abruptly withdrew its initial decision to include the ex-EXO members in its show, Chinese media reported Monday.

Following the reports, industry watchers raised speculation that SM exerted some influence on the TV network.

“Hallyu has long taken root in China, expanding its stature here," an industry insider said.

"Chinese entertainment companies have great interest in the Korean market. They would not want to leave a negative impression in Korea."

Earlier in February, SM filed a damage suit against the pair and the companies that used Luhan as an advertisement model.

The label cited the damages due to breach of contract and copyright violations behind its legal action.

According to SM, Kris and Luhan have unfairly used EXO’s fame to appear in movies, ads and various events though they made it clear that they wanted to leave the band.

The contract remains legally valid until a court officially recognizes its termination, the agency said.

SM has vowed all possible legal actions to prevent further financial loss to the company and EXO.

The conflict has only been intensifying, with Kris and Luhan refuting SM’s stance. The two said that the label does not have any right to defame the two and hamper their activities.

Kris and Luhan will again try to seek a settlement with the label in the presence of judges before the legal battle begins. They have already failed to reach an agreement several times.

The Chinese singer-turned-actors signed the management contract with SM in 2010 to debut as members of Korean-Chinese idol group EXO.

The formerly 12-member group has pursued activities in two subgroups -- EXO-K and EXO-M -- formed to target the Korean and Chinese music markets, respectively.

(khnews@heraldcorp.com)

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