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BTS's hiatus has left fans in tears and investors fuming

Image: Reuters Berita 24 English - On Wednesday, K-pop pioneers BTS were met with tears and sorrow from fans, but fury from shareholders in ...

Image: Reuters

Berita 24 English - On Wednesday, K-pop pioneers BTS were met with tears and sorrow from fans, but fury from shareholders in their management firm, a day after the band declared a hiatus from group musical activities to pursue solo projects, citing weariness as the reason.

Many in South Korea were shocked and disappointed by Tuesday's news, which sparked doubt about the band's future as three of its seven members approached military service age. The band's cheery tunes and ideals of young empowerment have made them global stars. "I could relate to them since they cried and honestly told us how they felt," Nini Lee, a fan from Seoul, told Reuters at a café where she had gathered with other admirers. "When I was going through a difficult moment, their voice gave me tremendous courage, and I'm no longer frightened of such headwinds... Now I'd like to lend them my courageous voice ".. The cafe's owner, Kim Young-sun, expressed regret for wanting more from BTS at a time when they were struggling, and wished them a well-deserved break to recharge their batteries.

BTS leader and rapper RM claimed he had "felt guilty and afraid" to beg for the rest he sorely needed in a sad video posted on Tuesday on the ninth anniversary of the group, which last year became the first Asian band to win artist of the year at the American Music Awards. RM grumbled that the K-pop industry did not afford young musicians with "time to mature," while Jimin stated they were striving to find their personality in a "exhausting process." Others criticised BTS' management company, HYBE, for aggressively pushing for new albums and other moneymaking chances on social media. A request for comment from the corporation was not immediately returned. "The K-pop and idol industries have long been managed on a profit-making system," said Jung Duk-hyun, a South Korean cultural critic. "The stars cannot take a break even when they are burned out."


Investors in HYBE, which went public two years ago and whose shares dropped 25% on Wednesday, knocking roughly 2 trillion won ($1.55 billion) off its market value, were enraged by Tuesday's sudden revelation.

One user posted on a Samsung Securities stock trading platform, "They've seeded 'dynamite' in the hearts of shareholders," referring to one of the group's hit songs. The stock of HYBE had been performing poorly in previous months, so the company's CEO and certain BTS members sold 10 billion won ($7.75 million) worth of stock in December. All able-bodied South Korean men are required to serve in the military for around two years, and Jin, the eldest member of BTS, will begin his service next year. A measure requesting that internationally recognised artists be granted military exemptions is currently pending in parliament, amid ongoing discussion about whether BTS is entitled to the same perks as athletes. BTS' lack of public activities, including the impact of military duty, could result in a 750 billion won revenue loss in 2023, according to Lee Ki-hoon, an analyst at Hana Financial Investment Co. Ltd. 1 dollar = 1,290.1600 won

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