On July 3rd, according to Korean social media, Starship Entertainment, a Korean talent agency, has announced that Xuanyi Wu, Meiqi Meng are going to attend all the activities when they return in the second half of the year. Recently, they were chosen from the show <Produce 101> and signed the contract with Tencent Entertainment. Therefore, Xuanyi Wu and Meiqi Meng are going to attend the activities in both Starship Entertainment and Tencent Entertainment at the same time.
However, the certification “Cosmic Girls” (Starship Entertainment) was removed from Xuanyi Wu and Meiqi Meng’s Weibo on June 29th. Only “Rocket Girls 101” (Tencent Entertainment) was remained. Starship Entertainment was dissatisfied with case and they want Tencent Entertainment to solve this issue because they breached the contract.
“Cosmic Girls”, a girl group which belonged to Korean Starship Entertainment and Chinese entertainment company – Yuehua Entertainment, debuted in February 2016. There are 3 Chinese members and 10 Korean members in Cosmic Girls. One of the Chinese girls recently played the role of mentor in the Chinese show “Idol Producer”. Other two Chinese girls are Xuanyi Wu and Meiqi Meng.
Yankun Ma, the variety business department manager of Tencent Entertainment and vice president of Penguin Film Company has announced that all of the 11 members in ‘Rocket Girls 101’ are going to attend the activities which only host by Tencent Entertainment in next two years. They are managed and operated by Penguin Film Company. Therefore, Xuanyi Wu and Meiqi Meng have to be seperated from Starship Entertainment. Ma also said that they have confirmed with those girls’ agency.
It seems that Tencent Entertainment denied the statement that Xuanyi Wu and Meiqi Meng are going to participate both companies’ activities. Tencent Entertainment also emphasis that the contract with Xuanyi Wu and Meiqi Meng lasts for two years. In two years, Xuanyi Wu and Meiqi Meng are not going to attend any activities that host by Starship Entertainment.
Until now, both companies have clear and conflict statements. We didn’t know how the contracts were signed.
On June 24th, someone posted on internet that Meiqi Meng has signed “separate contract”, but Xuanyi Wu has signed “partially separate contract”, which means that Xuanyi Wu is the only one who is going to attend both activities in Tencent Entertainment and Starship Entertainment.
We could also find something different from their Weibo which posted on June 24th. Xuanyi Wu has not only mentioned ‘Rocket Girls’ official account, but also mentioned “Cosmic Girls” official account. Compare to Xuanyi Wu’s Weibo, Meiqi Meng didn’t mention “Cosmic Girls” official account.
Even their Weibo couldn’t prove that the “partially separate contract” was true, they still couldn’t make sure how it runs in next two years. It’s worth noting that it is different from “Idol Producer”, ‘Rocket Girls’ only has two members that have issues with companies they used to belong to.
“XuanMei’s”commercial value increased rapidly is the key point in contract issue.
On June 23rd, the day the “Rocket Girls” formed, Yili Flagship Store posted one news on Weibo, “Pick your favorite one to be Yili’s spokesperson from June 24th to June 26th!” There is also a picture which includes 5 members from ‘Rocket Girls’ along with the Weibo. Those 5 members are Meiqi Meng, Zining, Aojuan Duan, Yamy, and Meiyun Lai.
However, it doesn’t mean that those 5 members have become the spokesperson of Yili Guliduo. They represent different kinds of products and each member corresponds to one product. The highest sale of product which represented by Meiqi Meng was 5.43 million. The least sale of product which represented by Meiyun Lai has even reached 500 thousands. When their fans buy the products and help those 5 members reach the sale goal, they could become the spokesperson of Yili. This Weibo has angered many fans of “Rocket Girls”, because the fans think Yili took advantage of their popularity to make money. The purpose was bad and obvious.
Yili has ended the activity they mentioned in Weibo earlier than they planned. They also announced that those 5 members have become “Kang E Da Shi” of Guliduo, but not spokesperson.
As “Rocket Girls 101” debuted, they become very popular and their commercial value increased rapidly. Because of strong resources of Tencent Entertainment, the activities for “Rocket Girls 101” has never ended.
On June 24th, the second day after the group formed, “Rocket Girls 101” was invited to Hunan TV’s graduation singing party. They performed the first show <Popular songs+Rocket Girls>. After they moved into Rocket Girls’ house, they were in progress of recording the first song on June 30th.
On July 1st, McDonald’s Official Account has posted on Weibo, “the girls who you picked are coming to McDonald’s!” with the picture of the whole team of “Rocket Girls 101”. Several days later, Running Man’s Official Account also posted that “Rocket Girls” are going to perform <Produce 101> in music carnival.
Besides recent activities, their fans posted the schedule of the whole team in the future. We can see that their schedules has already been planned to October, even include the performance for Spring Festival. It is easier to get these activities because of Tencent Entertainment for “Rocket Girls”. However, if this schedule was verified, Xuanyi Wu and Meiqi Meng obviously don’t have time to join any activities that host by Starship Entertainment and go back to “Cosmic Girls”.
To Tencent Entertainment, the development of Xuanyi Wu and Meiqi Meng is really important. They have many fans before join <Produce 101>, so as their popularity increased rapidly, their commercial value would be really high. According to the fans of each member in the team, Wu and Meng’s fan number is far ahead of other 9 members fan number.
During the broadcast period, Meiqi Meng has become the spokesperson of Zishengtang. Meng and Wu have become the spokesperson of Lancome at the same time. Besides that, they have participated in Chanel’s activities in May.
On June 23rd, the final of <Produce 101>, Meiqi Meng, the champion of <Produce 101>, was announced to become the spokesperson of “Zhong Hua Mo Li Xun Bai”.
To Tencent Entertainment, “Rocket Girls” has to increase its commercial value and influence more in music market in next two years. It is really important for them to have solid foundation for next season and get more sponsors. If Wu and Meng want to participate the activities in both companies, the development of “Rocket Girls 101” would be slower.
Xuanyi Wu and Meiqi Meng are equally important for Starship Entertainment as well as Tencent Entertainment. It is rarely to see the whole team presenting in front of audience except the album <Dream your dream> released in February, 2018. “Cosmic Girls” Official Account has posted Weibo which mainly about Xiao Cheng, Meiqi Meng and Xuanyi Wu in the first half of the year. According to the number of Chinese fans of each member in “Cosmic Girls”, fans of Cheng, Wu, and Meng are far ahead of other members’ fans.
Therefore, to both agencies – Starship Entertainment and Yuehua Entertainment, it seems really important that 3 Chinese members participated in <Idol Producer> and <Produce 101>. Their popularity would be the key point for the agency companies.
Now, the resources provided by Tencent Entertainment are very abundant. The promotion and popularity is really important to both Yuehua Entertainment and other agencies. However, the result is not the best to Yuehua Entertainment. On the one hand, Wu and Meng’s returning is really important for “Cosmic Girls”, so Yuehua has to maintain their relationship with Korean agencies; on the other hand, the high frequency of participating activities is really hard for idols, even Yuehua Entertainment knows the reason. Maybe that is why Wu and Meng have issues with both companies.
Idol market has starting just now, and the power for each agency company is unbalanced. The benefits are conflict and unavoidable for agency companies. Agency companies want to get more benefits from idols, and TV station wants to take control of the group and increase their commercial values. It doesn’t matter with “shared agency” or “qualified group”, they are only the labels in Chinese music market.
Translated by Katrina Zhang
Copyright © 2015 China Music Business News