AKB48 has announced that they have cut ties with their Shanghai based group SNH48 due to a contract violation.
Update: SNH48 has released a statement regarding the claims.
The announcement was done through the official website where announcements and banners for SNH48 have been removed. Specifically, management and operations are blamed for contract violations, which were not detailed.
BEJ48 and GNZ48, established by SNH48, are also no longer affiliated with AKB48 as well.
They will be reviewing their relationship with SNH48 and deciding if they are still part of the AKB48 group.
This news is shocking to say the least since it’s not everyday a company basically cuts off an entire international branch from their company. It is expected however since AKB48 has become more aggressive in their move to enter the Chinese market and partnered with other companies.
No response has been made by SNH48, but I imagine they will be reconsidering some negotiation to keep the group going in some way.
UPDATE: SNH48 have released a response, claiming that they are a fully independent group and the breach of contact does not affect them. They will be continuing on as an original group alongside BEJ48 and GNZ48z.