K-Pop Label SM Entertainment To Launch New China-Oriented NCT Group This Year

NCT 2018
Credit: SM Entertainment

NCT 2018

There will be a new NCT team before 2019 begins, announced SM Entertainment on Sunday (Aug. 12).

The Korean entertainment company revealed through social media that it will be launching a China-oriented unit of its latest boy band, NCT, with a flexible, ever-growing makeup. At the moment, the new team’s name and its member line-up is unknown but the working title is “NCT China.”   

SM also confirmed that NCT Dream and NCT 127 will be releasing new music this year. Dream is currently prepping for their long-awaited return, releasing new content on social media for the first time in several months.

NCT currently consists of NCT U, a rotational team, NCT 127, the Seoul-based unit, and NCT Dream, a group featuring only underage members. All three were first introduced in 2016, though several members have been added over the past few years. Earlier in this year, NCT’s current 18 members released the Empathy album under the all-inclusive name, NCT 2018.

Several of NCT 2018’s members are of Chinese descent: Kun, Winwin, Lucas, Renjun, and Chenle. 

SM Entertainment has focused on the Chinese market for years. In 2008, the company launched Super Junior-M, an add-on unit to Super Junior, and in 2012 debuted EXO-M, which featured six members of EXO who sung in Mandarin to counter the Korean-singing EXO-K. The former was last active as a group in 2014 with the single “Swing,” and EXO dropped the dual unit concept in 2013, though it has continued to release music in both Korean and Mandarin. More recently, both NCT U and Dream have released alternative versions of their singles in Mandarin.