Several media reports have been spreading false information about the wealth of Tao’s father. Originally, Chinese media platform Sohu reported Tao is set inherit 20 billion yuan ($3 billion USD) from his father.
The news spread like wildfire after it was also revealed that Tao’s father, Huang Zhongdong owns 4-5 houses in Qingdao and was once named the 7th wealthiest man in Qingdao in 1997.
But these claims regarding Tao’s inheritance have been over-exaggerated. In an interview with RenWu, Tao’s father mentions that his private company (parts of which he sold) is worth $3 billion USD and that he retains 17% of his shares. And while Huang never gave an exact number of how much money he’s set aside for his son, he did reveal that if Tao ever decides to quit the entertainment industry, Huang will transfer his shares over to him.
Huang also said that in 2002 a secretary transferred all of his money out of the bank, leaving him with only 40,000 yuan ($6,000 USD) that he had left at home. It took him years of hard work to rebuild his wealth.
In a recent interview with Sina, Tao did not address the inheritance rumors directly but he did have this to say about his father:
In my youth, my father taught me that the gods will help those who help themselves. I didn’t know what he meant back then, but I understand it now, now that I’ve grown up. There is no shortcut to success. [What matters is] effort.
Tao left EXO in April 2015 after his father expressed concern that SM Entertainment was properly treating his son’s injuries. Tao is still in a legal battle with SM over the termination of his contract.