On October 18, Hanteo chart apologized for manipulating EXO's 2017 Album sales. They officially admitted that their employee manipulated EXO's album sales and Chinese bulk order numbers with an intention to show less count of sales.
In the apology letter, Hanteo wrote "We apologize to our customers for what happened on August 17, 2017. Our official apology was delayed as we felt troubled over how to express our apologies." In short Hanteo expressed "We do not favor any artist and treats every artist equally. The incident happened due to a mistake by an employee. All purchases which are made through lawful platforms will be reflected on Hanteo charts. We will continue to work hard to provide a fair and trustworthy platform."
Initially Hanteo posted the apology in Hangul language. Fans expressed that the apology should be posted in Chinese language for their Chinese fan base. Following that, Hanteo released the apology statement in Chinese language as well.
On August 17, 2017, Hanteo staff member made an announcement that the Chinese group orders wouldn’t be counted towards album sales and this caused a huge issue. EXO's Chinese fan base sent a message to Hanteo explaining how this is unfair and is an act of racism/discrimination. Later Hanteo made a statement that it was a mistake by an employee and posted an apology.
Hanteo posted only the apology. They are yet to release the true sales figures for EXO's 2017 albums.
This was not the first time EXO was subjected to such unfairness. In 2016, Melon music awards denied an award which rightfully belonged to EXO. When fans demanded an explanation from the show conductors, they simply stated it was due to "Internal data".
But on October 2017, Melon released the details of most streamed song in 2016, and it was EXO's Monster, with 190,898,389 streams!
Not just Melon and Hanteo, in 2017, just before the start of the award season, Gaon made several last minute changes to the award qualification criteria. And fans felt it was intentionally made to affect EXO's album sales data which will be considered for awards.
Seoul Music Awards (SMA) did not nominate EXO for the 2017 award categories even when EXO was perfectly qualified for all the top awards.
And last but not the least, in 2017 award show GDA even added a shade in their speech while distributing the award "so this year we were more fair in picking the Daesang winner". Does it mean they were unfair all the years before? Kpop community expressed that the statement was unnecessary and it was totally unprofessional and controversial, and was an intentional disrespect to the other artist.
Fan's reaction to the incident in twitter -
Fans expressed that all the incidents shows that the entire Kpop industry is against EXO and trying so hard to bring them down. Not just award shows, recently kmedia too is projecting any piece of information they have on EXO in negative light. Recently a youtube channel made a video and spread a misleading information that EXO has higher returns of albums. They claimed that Gaon released the ranking for returns. But the truth is, Gaon did not release any such ranking. Seems like their source is an anti who actually spread this misleading information in twitter.
EXO is the nation's pick for a reason. They're EXOL's pick for a reason. It's been more than 6 years since the band has debuted, they are still at the top of the game. They have faced many difficulties, right from members leaving to antis attack every day. They were called as "SM's huge mistake" during their initial days. But they proved it wrong and overcame all the hurdles with their hard work and became the no.1 Kpop band in the industry. Like it or not, EXO is the standard for success in Kpop. Manipulations, rumors and mistranslations are just not enough to bring them down.
Only Truth and Facts !
- The KTruth