South Korea’s SM Entertainment to set up in Singapore
One of South Korea’s biggest entertainment companies, SM Entertainment, is setting up its South-east Asian headquarters in Singapore as part of its expansion plans in the region, according to a report on news portal CNBC on Wednesday.
Home to some of K-pop’s top acts such as NCT (which stands for Neo Culture Technology), Girls’ Generation, Aespa and EXO, it is in the midst of recruiting full-time staff as well as interns.
It plans to launch retail businesses, including cafes, merchandise stores and pop-up exhibitions in Singapore.
Its influential founder Lee Soo-man spoke to The CNBC Conversation about its Culture Technology system which he developed, where potential singers and dancers will go through four stages – casting, training, marketing/management and producing.
He also teased the possibility of a new sub-unit of NCT, dubbed NCT Singapore, although it is unclear if there are concrete plans.
NCT, a 23-member boy band, already has a number of sub-units, with NCT Tokyo and NCT Saudi in the works.
SM Entertainment – which operates as a record label, talent agency, music production company, event management and concert production company, and music publishing house – declined to reveal how much it is investing in Singapore.
Founded in 1995, it is known for having led the worldwide Korean Wave pop culture phenomenon, also called Hallyu, in the 1990s.
The Singapore office will manage joint ventures in Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand, and there are plans to expand to the Middle East as well.