Starship Entertainment announced yesterday that WJSN will be making a comeback in September, but they also said they will be doing so without Chinese members Cheng Xiao, Meiqi, and Xuanyi.
“Members Mei Qi and Xuan Yi will be busy with their promotions with the Chinese girl group Rocket Girls, and Cheng Xiao was unable to reschedule her prior engagements in China, so the three members have ended up being unable to participate in promotions for this [upcoming] album. We are planning to have WJSN move forward with promotions for this album as 10 members. We ask for the understanding of the fans, who must have looked forward to seeing all 13 members of WJSN promote.”
That seems … less than ideal.
Of particular note here is Meiqi and Xuanyi’s absence, as Yuehua Entertainment recently settled the Rocket Girls/’Produce 101 China‘ contract dispute with Tencent. Yuehua claimed that part of that agreement was the two members would be allowed to promote with WJSN, but it sure seems like Tencent simply allowed Yuehua to save face, much like I had thought at the time. For as crappy as this is for WJSN the group, it probably makes sense for Starship/Yuehua because the money they’ll be making in China is likely greater than what they would contribute to a WJSN comeback, especially given how they’re utilized.
Cheng Xiao is a bit of a different story as she’s been showcased rather prominently in Korea as a member of WJSN and hasn’t had public disputes about splitting time between Korea and China that I’m aware of. Yet it’s now quite clear through this where her priority lies. Once again, likely not a bad thing for the corporate bottom line or the girls themselves, but certainly not the best news for WJSN.