Luhan, Tao and Kris made their public departures from Hallyu group EXO, with Tao making the announcement in August 2015 and the other two, in 2014. Their contracts were never formally nullified with label S.M. Entertainment.
Since their departure, the group has went on as nine and has become even more successful, recently winning the Disk Daesang (Grand Prize) for the third year running at the annual Golden Disk Awards. Individually, the three have also been extremely successful in their solo ventures, with Wu Yi Fan (Kris) involved in Stephen Chow’s movie The Mermaid, Luhan confirmed for Zhang Yimou’s film The Great Wall and Z.TAO (Tao) releasing his solo mini album last year.
Despite their progress since going their separate ways, there has been renewed hope that the trio might make their return to the group. The newest flurry of speculation emerged after a Chinese equivalent of Wikipedia, Baike Baidu, removed the three names from the list of artistes who have nullified contracts with S.M. Entertainment. Their names have since been reinstated on that list.
Much like Wikipedia, the site allows users to edit information, thus giving rise to questions over whether the edit was made by a fan who personally wanted them to make their grand return to EXO. However, other netizens pointed out that S.M. has never formally removed the three members’ names from their official website, whereas for other groups, such as Girls’ Generation, Super Junior and f(x), former members’ names are no longer on their official sites.
This has resulted in heated discussions on popular Chinese social networking site Weibo, with the hashtag #LuhanWuYiFanHuangZiTaoReturntoEXO drawing mixed reactions from fans. While some expressed their fervent desire to see all 12 original members stand as one once again, others have pointed out that they are all doing well now and that there is no need for them to force themselves into a situation they would rather not be in.