BTS' Label HYBE Becomes First Entertainment Company To Earn Chaebol Status Amid Feud With ADOR

HYBE has officially become the first entertainment company in South Korea to be designated as a major corporate group, amid its ongoing feud with ADOR. Read on!
HYBE Becomes First Entertainment Company To Earn Chaebol Status Amid Feud With ADOR

HYBE Becomes First Entertainment Company To Earn Chaebol Status Amid Feud With ADOR

Amid HYBE and ADOR's ongoing feud, the Bang Si-hyuk founded label has officially become the first entertainment company in South Korea to be designated as a major corporate group.

HYBE earns chaebol status

On May 15, BTS' label HYBE become the first entertainment company to be designated as a conglomerate. The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) attributed HYBE's designation to K-pop's growing popularity across the globe. "The rapid growth of the entertainment industry, fueled by the global success of K-pop acts like BTS and their key revenue from albums and performances, has been reflected in this designation," an official from the FTC commented.
HYBE's founder and chairman Bang Si-hyuk, who holds 31.57% of HYBE’s shares, has been recognized as the 'head of the business group' (chaebol). With this, for the first time since the introduction of the chaebol leader designation system in 1986, two related individuals have reportedly appeared on the chaebol list together. Bang Si-hyuk and his relative Bang Joon-hyuk, who is the chairman of Netmarble, are both on the list.

Will HYBE's feud with ADOR affect chaebol status?

According to the Fair Trade Commission (FTC), HYBE ranks 85th in terms of the size of assets out off the 88 business groups designated as large corporations in 2024. Since the agency has over 5.25 trillion won in assets, it will continue to stay on the chaebol list, regardless of divestment from ADOR, which has 61.6 billion won in assets.

HYBE-ADOR feud

HYBE and ADOR have been in the midst of a massive feud since April 22, after HYBE initiated an audit against ADOR CEO Min Hee-jin. HYBE accused ADOR's management of devising a plan to gain complete control of the sub-label, leaking sensitive information to external entities and attempts to tarnish the reputation of HYBE and its artists. Following the audit, Min Hee-jin held a press conference on April 25 to share her side of the story.
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