In a new interview with Hong Kong newspaper Ming Bao, the singer said that she felt there was “no reason” to remain in CLC after their agency had stopped providing support to the group. Chong also cited the lengthy delays between their releases and accused the company of “taking away” the group’s opportunities.
“When the company said it would no longer be investing resources into CLC, I felt that there was no reason to stay on,” Chong said. “As an idol, I just wanted to reach out to fans through my work. If I wasn’t allowed to do that, not being able to give back to the fans, I couldn’t accept it.”
One of those opportunities was allegedly IZ*ONE’s debut single ‘La Vie En Rose’, which reportedly had been originally planned as a CLC release. Ming Bao noted that Chong and her fellow groupmates had already recorded the song and rehearsed its choreography before the song was subsequently given to IZ*ONE.
“What was originally our song and opportunity [to release new music] were given to others, so I felt very helpless. The seven of us girls worked hard – when we felt that a song would be well-received, we wanted to go for it, but the agency took away these opportunities,” Chong said. “I feel that the agency had been too out of line and I am very disappointed. The frequency of CLC’s releases was so low, sometimes taking a year to release new songs and albums.”
However, Chong added that she still maintains a good relationship with her former CLC bandmates. She also said that the group have expressed their interest in visiting her in Mainland China and that she, in turn, has offered them a place to stay at her home.
Chong officially left CUBE Entertainment and CLC in February. At the time, the agency had called her departure a “mutual agreement” by both parties. The singer had originally filed to terminate her contract with CUBE in December 2020, accusing the company of violating the terms and conditions of the agreement in regards to payment of income and for lack of “developmental support” for the group.