Reports have been promising the imminent debut of SM Entertainment‘s new girl group since January this year. However, 2020 is drawing to a close, and the highly anticipated debut is still yet to surface. Now, it seems many of the trainees couldn’t stand the wait—including Hina, the latest SM Rookies member rumored to have left the company.
SM Rookies is a predebut project which SM Entertainment uses to introduce its trainees to the public ahead of debut. Many of the starlets who were part of the project went on to debut in Red Velvet and NCT. The remaining trainees were expected to debut in the company’s new girl group this year.
Back in February 2012, SM Entertainment released numerous pre-debut photos of two of their most promising SM Rookies members—21-year-old Koeun and 17-year-old Lami. At first, early fans thought the influx of pictures may indicate that the new girl group was about to make its debut. However, things didn’t turn out that way.
Not long later, fans discovered that both Koeun and Lami had set up their own personal Instagram accounts. Since SM Entertainment trainees are forbidden to use social media, rumors surfaced that the two SM Rookies members had left the company.
Lo and behold, Koeun and Lami’s departure was confirmed around a month later. Now, Hina seems to be following the same path.
20-year-old Nakamura Hina was one of SM Entertainment’s longest standing trainees. She joined the company in 2012 and was introduced as part of SM Rookies in July 2015. Born in Nagoya, Japan, dancer Hina was set to be the company’s first fully Japanese female artist.
However, today, fans discovered that Hina has set up her own Instagram account.
While some speculated it may be fake, other former SM Entertainment trainees soon followed the account, confirming its legitimacy. Koeun later uploaded a photo of herself with Hina, tagging Hina’s account in the post.
[translation] 🤍 precious people 🤍
With that in mind, it seems highly likely that Hina has left SM Entertainment. Now, only one SM Rookies member remains: 18-year-old Ningning (Ning Yizhuo) from Harbin, China. Ningning was introduced in September 2016 and has trained for four years.
As of right now, there’s no confirmation on why Hina, Koeun, and Lami left the company this year. Since all the members trained for a long time, fans think it’s unlikely that SM Entertainment wanted them to depart. As such, the most popular theory is that they left because the new girl group’s debut has been delayed once again.
It remains to be seen whether Ningning will stay on with the company, or whether SM Entertainment plans to add any new members to SM Rookies in the meantime.