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K-pop label SM Entertainment to set up SEA headquarters in Singapore

SM Entertainment reveals that there is interest to create more groups and subunits, like NCT Tokyo and NCT Saudi.

SINGAPORE – South Korean entertainment company SM Entertainment is slated to establish their Southeast Asian headquarters here in Singapore.

This strategic move is “part of its expansion plans in the region”, CNBC reported.

The upcoming Singapore headquarters will “manage joint ventures in Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand”. It will “communicate with [its South Korea office] for other related ventures and plans”, according to founder Lee Soo-man.

His namesake entertainment label, which was founded in 1995, was only home to a few iconic acts, like H.O.T and S.E.S then.

It later capitalised on the Hallyu boom and strategically dished out a slew of chart-topping groups. They include Girls’ Generation, Super Junior, EXO, SHINee, NCT, aespa and more.

The entertainment powerhouse previously focused on stateside collaborations with the debut of SuperM, a brainchild of SM Entertainment and Capitol Music Group.

SuperM. Photo: SM Entertainment

It is evident that SM Entertainment is concurrently ramping up expansion into Asian markets.

The company is expected to launch “retail businesses” in Singapore, which likely models after its existing business concept in Seoul.

Currently, it features a cafe for like-minded fans to interact with one another and retail shops where artists’ merchandise will be available for sale.

SM Entertainment’s Kwangya@Seoul flagship store at D-Tower building, Seongdong district, Seoul. Photo: SM Entertainment

A new K-pop group, NCT Singapore, is also in the pipeline if suitable opportunities arise. But there are no concrete plans just yet.

Artists signed under the label hail from various countries outside of South Korea, such as China, Japan and Thailand. It is noteworthy that there are currently no Singaporean artists in its extensive roster.

However, Lee has confirmed that there is interest to create more groups and subunits such as NCT Saudi and NCT Tokyo. This will be a spin-off of the NCT boy band, which stands for Neo Culture Technology.

This group rides on an unprecedented concept where it will have an “unlimited” number of members. To date, it has been further divided into smaller units like NCT 127, NCT U, NCT Dream and WayV.

NCT 127. Photo: SM Entertainment

SM Entertainment also announced that they will be holding a free online concert titled “2023 SMTOWN LIVE: SMCU PALACE @KWANGYA” on 1 Jan 2023. The show will feature a total of 58 artists from the entertainment label.



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