Former Korean boy band EXO member Tao has lost his appeal in South Korea to nullify his exclusive contract with agency SM Entertainment.
The Seoul High Court ruled in favour of SM Entertainment and dismissed Tao's appeal on the grounds that the contract was not unfair.
Tao debuted as a member of EXO in 2012 but filed a lawsuit against the agency in 2015, saying that his 10-year contract was one-sided and too long that it would limit his freedom to choose his occupation.
However, last April, the Seoul Central District Court ruled against Tao to which SM Entertainment commented: "the contract we used was based on a standard contract provided by the Fair Trade Commission so there is nothing that could be of issue in the contract."
In response, Tao's side said they cannot accept the latest ruling as it was unfair, according to Korean media. It was not immediately known what would be his next step regarding the case.
Tao is one the three Chinese members of EXO who bolted from the group, filed lawsuits against the agency and launched their own solo careers in China.
In May 2014, Kris filed a lawsuit against SM Entertainment to void his contract followed by Luhan in October the same year.
But in July last year, it was announced that Luhan and Kris had made a settlement with SM Entertainment which ended their cases.
Under the agreement, the two former EXO members' contract with the agency will remain valid and binding until 2022.
"We cannot reveal specific details about our settlement, but by the court's decision and the settlement between the involved parties, SM Entertainment will continue its contract with Luhan and Kris until 2022," the agency's lawyers stated.
SM Entertainment will contract out management for the duo's activities outside Korea and Japan and they will share earnings with the agency but they will not promote as EXO members.