Why Did the Chungha Fandom Name Change?

Chungha has been a beloved artist in K-pop since her debut with project group I.O.I back in May 2016. Not only is she a talented singer, but her dance skills are impeccable, making for memorable performances. Following the dissolution of I.O.I, Chungha debuted as a soloist at MNH Entertainment in June 2017, where she had promotions for the next few years before officially leaving MNH on April 29, 2023. On October 10, 2023, Chungha then signed with More Vision, Jay Park’s agency, to begin new promotions that would ultimately start in full on March 11, 2024. During Chungha’s promotions at MNH, the name of her fandom had been BYULHARANG. However, on November 20, 2023, Chungha announced they would accept submissions from fans for a new fandom name, which, on January 8, 2024, would be revealed to be HAART. It left some fans wondering what had happened to spur the change, so here is the complete answer as to why the Chungha fandom name changed from BYULHARANG to HAART.

The Chungha Fandom Named Changed to HAART Likely Due to a Trademark Issue

At the time that submissions for a new fandom name were announced, the official reasoning given by staff was that this was the beginning of a “new chapter,” and a new name would “mark this new journey.” No formal statements have been issued that go any further in their reasoning than that. However, another reason why the fandom changed seems to simply be that MNH Entertainments owns trademarks for “BYULHARANG.”

When Chungha was at MNH Entertainment, MNH maintained control over all of Chungha’s official social media channels, which is a typical practice in K-pop. When Chungha departed MNH, all of those social media channels remained with MNH and became inactive, and indeed, Chungha opened new Twitter and Instagram accounts on the day she signed with More Vision. However, back in 2018, MNH Entertainment also applied for a trademark in South Korea for the fandom name, “BYULHARANG,” which was ultimately accepted. You may observe the relevant trademark documentation below, via KIPRIS.

Chungha fandom name trademark BYULHARANG MNH Entertainment KIPRIS, reason why to change it
This screenshot of KIPRIS documentation was captured on March 4, 2024.

While it would not necessarily be impossible for Chungha to continue using that name after moving on to new agency representation, it could still potentially become an impediment to promotions and, notably, profits, if such things had to be approved by MNH. Changing the fandom name would be more convenient from a standpoint of business convenience, so it makes sense that this is what occurred. (Additionally, in August 2022, Chungha seemed to express frustration with how MNH was promoting her, so it is possible she had a strained relationship with the company. However, we will not be engaging in speculation where hard evidence is lacking.)

The fandom name “BYULHARANG” referred to “BYULHA: Become someone who shines bright like a star,” “HARANG: Fly high together,” and “~RANG,” a Korean word modifier that indicates doing something together, so altogether, BYULHARANG meant “for Chungha and her fans to become each other’s stars, and to move forward and grow together.” Meanwhile, the new Chungha fandom name, “HAART,” combines the “ha” in “Chungha” and the “art” from “start,” and HAART references the fans forever loving Chungha as they continue to embark on new beginnings together. And of course, HAART is pronounced like “heart.” It’s a cute name when put into its proper context.

In summary, the reason why the Chungha fandom name changed from “BYULHARANG” to “HAART” is officially because Chungha and staff wanted a new name to represent Chungha’s new chapter in her career, but unofficially, the change is also likely because former agency MNH Entertainment still owns the trademark for “BYULHARANG.”

For another complicated K-pop story, check out the likely reason why GFriend shockingly disbanded at Source Music in 2021.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *