Tao has ultimately lost his case against SM Entertainment.
Tao left EXO in April 2015, and then sued SM Entertainment four months later, citing lack of freedom due to the long contract period. He also accused the contract of being unfair because of the division of profit as well as the limits of his individual promotions.
However, the court had ruled SM Entertainment's contract fair. Tao had submitted an appeal, but on the 15th, the court dismissed Tao's appeal and sided with SM Entertainment.
SM Entertainment said, "The Supreme Court dismissed Tao's appeal on March 15th, 2018, on the status of his exclusive contract. The Supreme Court declared the contract between Tao and SM Entertainment still valid. Tao's claim that the exclusive contract was no longer valid was dismissed in April 2017, again in October 2017, and then again in the final appeal. Tao has still signed an exclusive contract with SM Entertainment, and must follow the contract. SM Entertainment celebrates the court's wise decision, and will do our best to build a culture of following contracts and building trust for the sake of the entertainment industry. We will continuously work to make sure that our affiliates in China and other countries are not harmed, and work for the healthy cultivation of the entertainment industry. Thank you."
However, previously, Chinese courts had ruled that SM Entertainment's contract does not apply to Tao.