SM Entertainment Artists is very strict with their trainees. This is not surprising considering they are one the largest agencies in K-Pop. Here are some rules that trainees at SM Entertainment must follow.
No late-night Outings or phones
An ex-trainee of SM Entertainment Artists came forward and shared some details about her past life. She also revealed that trainees are forbidden from using their phones after dark and on Sundays. Trainees at SM Entertainment Artists are also not allowed to go out at nights
- Learn from your mistakes
SM Entertainment has a strict policy regarding trainees who make mistakes. An ex-trainee of SM Entertainment shared that trainees are required to make a list of all mistakes and they are not allowed to practice until they have acknowledged the error. You are not allowed to practice until your actions can be clearly outlined.
- Practice it constantly
SM Entertainment trainees are expected to practice constantly. One former trainee at the company revealed that they practice daily, except Sundays, and that they often practice for more than 12 hours per day.
Korean culture regards bowing and greeting as a sign to respect. SM Entertainment trainees are taught this every day. Baekhyun, an EXO, once spoke about his trainee days. He said that trainees at SM Entertainment must greet their seniors loudly and have to bow.
After tax investigation, SM Entertainment Artists were ordered to pay 20 billion won
The National Tax Service Seoul Regional Office in South Korea announced that SM Entertainment, and its founder Lee Soo Man were currently under investigation for tax evasion. The company was ordered to pay W20 Billion KRW to government.
The National Tax Service stated that the irregular tax audit was carried out because Lee Soo Man and SM Entertainment were suspected of tax evasion. Despite SM Entertainment artists stating they had been following regular tax audits “diligently”, authorities discovered that certain documents and transactions were unusual.
Reports alleged that there had been a leak of company funds transacted between the former CEO and the agency and that financial information had been omitted during a corporate-to-corporate transaction.
The National Tax Service’s Bureau of Investigation investigated the stock shares of Lee Soo Man (the current coCEO of SM Entertainment) and his nephew, Lee Sung Soo. With an 18.73% stake, founder Lee Soo Man, who resigned as CEO of SM Entertainment, is now the largest shareholder.
SM Entertainment representatives stated that they would pay the W20.2 billion KRW ($about $18.0 million USD) by the deadline but they also plan to “follow up with an appeals process”. SM Entertainment, despite allegedly evading taxes was found to have lost 15.6 billion between July 2020 and September 2020.
This isn’t the first time that SM Entertainment, home to Red Velvet and NCT, has been investigated for tax evasion. Lee Soo Man, who had set up fake companies in Hong Kong to conceal overseas profits, was ordered to pay more than W10.0 billion KRW ($8.93 million USD).
Lee Soo Man was also added to Interpol’s Wanted List in 2002 for embezzling approximately $1 million USD from company funds. After returning to South Korea, he was arrested and sentenced to two-years imprisonment with three years probation.