Not long ago, it was announced that former iKON‘s B.I (also known as Kim Hanbin) had been appointed as an executive director at IOK Company.
IOK Company is known to house many famous celebrities such as actors Go Hyun Jung and Jo In Sung, as well as gagwomen Lee Young Ja, Kim Sook and Kim Na Young.
On the appointment chart however, not only does it confirm B.I’s position, it also mentions an appointment of another staff member to the Ssang Bang Wool Group (SBW Group) for the position of head of the future planning strategy and media department. It seems that this is a newly created department within the company.
Netizens have drawn connections between SBW Group and B.I’s family. Back in 2016, B.I’s family had opened a flagship outlet for TRY, an underwear brand.
Many blog articles were released about this launch. As TRY is a brand under the SBW Group, fans had speculated about links between B.I’s family and SBW Group.
With this information in mind, they began to read between the lines on recent articles about B.I’s voluntary deeds. While his voluntary work is undoubtedly a good thing, netizens have realized that these were also linked to the SBW Group. In an article about B.I’s mask donations, it was stated that the SBW Group and the Namyoung Vivien company had helped to fund the donations.
In publicity photos, B.I’s family, including his younger sister, also appeared.
Netizens speculate that many articles about his volunteer works were media play.
News articles were also released, revealing that the SBW Group has plans to move into K-Pop marketing and industry, as well as continue business with consumer products such as apparel and masks.
Earlier this year, it was announced that SBW Group, Namyoung Viven and Pobis TNC had undergone a merger.
Following which, Pobis TNC acquired IOK Company, the company at which B.I currently serves as an executive director.
The final straw? Netizens uncovered that the CEO of SBW Group was linked to B.I in the past, as they appeared at various events together. However, they also realized that the CEO, Kim Sung Tae, was linked to having been a mobster. The newly merged company has also been under critic for having non-transparent management.
While the specific relationship between SBW Group and B.I’s family has yet to be uncovered, one cannot deny that the two are indeed connected to each other. His appointment as director took many fans and the public aback due to its suddenness, and we are only left to wonder, how he will fare in this position.