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[BREAKING] Tao Allegedly Signals End As Member Of EXO With News Of Huang Z. TAO Studio

By Tamar Herman | June 12, 2015 08:32 AM EDT

Another sign points to the solo career of a member of EXO.

Tao (Huang Zitao,) a member of popular K-pop boy band EXO, announced the creation of an official Chinese agency, Huang Z. TAO Studio. The studio will enable Tao to pursue individual activities in China.

The establishment of a personal management agency appears to finalize Tao's departure from SM Entertainment's group, EXO.

"Hello! This is Huang Z. Tao official studio," read a message on the official Weibo account for the new agency. "From now on, news related to Tao will be released through here [the account.]"

The Weibo account appears to be official, and Tao's father allegedly re-shared the message from the Huang Z. TAO Studio account, according to SBS PopAsia

Tao's potential departure from EXO seemed iminent in May after Tao returned to China while EXO was in the middle of a concert series and promoting a new album, "EXODUS."

The situation intensified when Tao's absence was explained by the singer's father. Tao's father, Huang, accused SM Entertainment of mistreating his son financially and physically, by forcing Tao to work without properly resting from injuries. Huang published a letter explaining that he had begged his son to leave EXO, and told the media that Tao had agreed to leave EXO.

SM Entertainment, EXO's agency, previously denied Tao's departure from EXO, and announced that it was in talks with Tao. SM Entertainment's representatives previously stated that the company is in talks with Tao regarding individual activities, and announced that he would not partake in comeback promotions for the group's latest song, "Love Me Right."

Tao's departure from EXO would mark the third Chinese member of EXO to leave the group. In 2014, two members of EXO, Luhan and Kris (Wu Yi Fan,) departed the group and sued SM Entertainment. After leaving EXO, the pair pursued careers as actors in China. 

A fourth Chinese member remains in EXO. Shortly after Tao's absence from the group, SM Entertainment announced that it had set up an individual agency to manage Lay's solo career in China.

Tao last appeared in the music video for EXO's May release, "Call Me Baby."

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Tamar Herman is a multi-media journalist and the co-founder of KultScene. She is a freelance writer and copy editor, and an MTV Iggy contributor. Tamar can be followed on Twitter.


Tagged :  tao, EXO, solo, SM Entertainment, agency, China

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