Kris was the leader of EXO-M, but he left the group in May 2014. His departure was then followed by another Chinese member, Luhan. Both of them filed lawsuits against SM Entertainment, citing invalid contract as the reasons for their departures. Tao and Lay were also rumoured to leave the group, but fans let out a sigh of relief when the rumours were proven to be false.
Tao, who is the youngest member in EXO-M, suffered a leg injury during the filming of SBS “Laws of the Jungle” in July 2014. This was then followed by his ankle injury on MBC “Idol Sports Athletic Championship” in February. His condition worsened during EXO’s “EXOluXion” concert in March, as multiple rehearsals and dance practice sessions took its toll on his injury. This forced him to opt out of the group’s “Growl” performance.
Tao is also unable to perform with his group for their current “Call Me Baby” promotions.
The artiste’s increasing Chinese activities also sparked speculations that he was gradually advancing his activities in China. Tao was featured on various Chinese variety shows, including “With You Down the Road” and “Ding Ge Long Ding Qiang”. His brief appearance in Chinese movie “He Yi Sheng Xiao Mo”, in addition to his recent close friendship with Chinese actor Huang Xiao Ming have further fuelled the rumours.
According to iQiyi, several insiders who have close connections with Tao have also confirmed his departure from the idol group.
He was also spotted having a meal with his parents in his hometown, Qingdao, and it’s widely believed that he took a break from his activities and is currently recuperating from his injuries there.
iQiyi connected all the dots and came up with the conclusion that Tao will be terminating his contract with SM Entertainment.
In regards to the rumour, SM Entertainment denied the report and released an official statement to Star News.
The representatives simply stated:
The Chinese media report from April 16 about EXO’s Tao canceling his contract (with SM) isn’t true.
Tao previously wrote a message lamenting Kris’ betrayal on Instagram when the ex-leader terminated his contract in a bid to further his career in China. This caused many fans to express doubt that Tao will leave, as his actions will be contradictory of his past Instagram post.
An Instagram direct message between Tao and one of his fan has also gained the spotlight, with Tao replying “Yes I won’t just believe in me“. However, some have questioned the validity of the screenshot, with fans nitpicking that the wide space between Tao’s username and his message looked odd. Fans also said that it is very unlikely for Tao to reply a message in English. The post has since been deleted.
You can judge it for yourself here:
Meanwhile, EXO-M’s Lay has been given the green light by SM Entertainment to increase his activities in China.
What do you think of the rumours? Will EXO be reduced to a 9-member boy group? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.