K-Pop Fans Attach Tracking Device to ATEEZ Tour Bus

ATEEZ's record label is planning to take legal action after revealing that fans of the K-pop band placed a tracking device on its tour bus.

Some devotees of the South Korean boy band have been accused of stepping over the line in their attempts to get close to its eight members—Kim Hong-joong, Park Seong-hwa, Jeong Yun-ho, Kang Yeo-sang, Choi San, Song Min-gi, Jung Woo-young and Choi Jong-ho.

In a terse statement released by record label and agency KQ Entertainment on Thursday, ATEEZ's representatives have vowed to pursue "punishment without any leniency or agreement."

According to a translation on the website Allkpop, the statement said: "First, we would like to thank the fans who always cherish and support ATEEZ. Even though we have previously informed several times about the fan club etiquette and prohibition of visiting private and unannounced schedule spaces, there are still constant cases of privacy violations through illegal activities.

"In addition, despite the restraints from the staff members, actions such as intruding on private spaces and following the artist on unofficial schedules just for personal interest have caused interruption in work and psychological suffering of the artists.

"In particular, we have recently captured circumstances of furtively attaching a location tracking device to the artist's business vehicle to illegally collect location information. We have requested the local police station to track it down for punishment without any leniency or agreement.

"We will continue to implement the existing black list system and legal measures to respond to infringement of artists' privacy, and those who violate it will be excluded from all fan participation and activities without prior notice."

After directing fans to an email address where any other infractions against the band can be reported, the statement concluded: "Once again, we would like to ask for your cooperation for the safety of ATEEZ and the fans and for sound fan culture."

ATEEZ has enjoyed huge international success since debuting in 2018, although the COVID-19 pandemic forced the band to call off a tour planned for last year.

The pop stars used the extra time to work on their EP, Zero: Fever Part.1.

"It gave us a lot of time to think about our album before it was released, and to put more into it," Hong-joong told British Vogue in an interview published in August 2020. "That break was good and bad at the same time.

"We're doing a lot during promotion that we never thought we'd do, but it's kind of a relief. I thought we wouldn't be able to do anything."

The band, whose Instagram account has more than 5.3 million followers, kept fans entertained at the height of the pandemic with online concerts and video meet and greets.

"Interacting with fans on video calls… It's interesting," San told Vogue. "Doing all the performances on stage without the fans is so frustrating. I need them to give me the strength!"

Hong-joong added: "Thanks to all this technology, we can actually meet the fans."

K-pop band ATEEZ
(Top L-R, bottom L-R) Min-gi, Yeo-sang, Seong-hwa, Jong-ho, Yun-ho, San, Hong-joong and Woo-young of ATEEZ at the Young Hollywood Studio in Los Angeles on August 15, 2019. The K-pop band has 5.3 million followers on Instagram. Mary Clavering/Young Hollywood/Getty Images