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AKB48 management firm accuses Chinese spin-off group of “contractual violations”

By | Published on Monday 13 June 2016


The management company behind Japanese mega-girl-group AKB48 – AKS – is investigating Chinese spin-off group SNH48 over possible “contractual violations”, ceasing all promotion of the group last week.

The original Japanese group has over 100 members, who vie to be elected part of the main group by fans. With AKB48 linked to Tokyo’s Akihabara district, various spin-off outfits have been launched in other areas of Japan, plus China, Indonesia, Thailand, the Phillipines, and Taiwan. In 2012, almost 40,000 girls applied to become members of the Shanghai-based SNH48.

In a statement on the official AKB48 website on Thursday, AKS said that it had become necessary to “review the operations” of SNH48’s local management team. This is seemingly due to new Chinese spin-off groups being set up in Beijing and Guangzhou – BEJ48 and GNZ48 – without official approval. AKS says it was “not aware” of these groups, and that they have “nothing to do with AKB48″.

A statement from SNH48 over the weekend said that is would only linked to AKB48 on “a technical level”.

“SNH48 is a fully independent, autonomous, large-scale female idol group native to China”, said the statement. “On 20 Apr, SNH48 announced the establishment of its official sister groups BEJ48 and GNZ48, and also announced its strategy to create original music content. SNH48 has already started going down its own path”.