SM Entertainment to set up Southeast Asia HQ in Singapore

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SM Entertainment’s SMTown entertainment complex in Seoul, South Korea, in 2015. SM Entertainment declined to say how much the company is investing into its Southeast Asian expansion, but said it’s “in the midst of hiring more local talents, which will hopefully increase the full-time staff count.”

SeongJoon Cho | Bloomberg | Getty Images

South Korean entertainment company SM Entertainment will be setting up its Southeast Asian headquarters in Singapore as part of its expansion plans in the region.

The company confirmed in an email to CNBC its recruitment plans in Singapore.

In his interview on “The CNBC Conversation” last month, SM Entertainment founder Soo-Man Lee said it recruits and produces talent through the “Culture Technology” system he developed, through which potential singers and dancers will go through four stages: casting, training, marketing/management and producing.

Lee added that he’d be keen on creating a K-pop group, NCT Singapore, if the opportunity arose, but it’s unclear if plans are underway.

The Singapore headquarters will also be “managing joint ventures in Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand, as well as communicating with [its South Korea office] for other related ventures and plans.”

SM Entertainment declined to say how much the company is investing in its expansion in Singapore, but said it’s “in the midst of hiring more local talents, which will hopefully increase the full-time staff count.” The company is also “looking at hiring local undergraduates or fresh graduates for internships.”

On top of that, the company plans to launch retail businesses in Singapore, including cafes, merchandise stores and pop-up exhibitions.

Wider expansion in Asia

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