Later, SM Entertainment, the group’s label, officially confirmed the news in a statement.
Shortly after the announcement netizens started to speculate about his future bride's pregnancy after he used a handwritten letter to fans to say that "a blessing" came his way and that he was taken aback but could not "lose any more time thinking about when or how (he) should announce this" and summoned the courage to go public with the news.
Reacting to the news, EXO-L (official fandom name) from South Korea was furious both in the official app LYSN and on Twitter, slamming the idol for his decision and demanding his departure from the band.
종대야 제발 그냥 탈퇴해 엑소 피해 주지 말고 조용히 나가라 돈 벌만큼 벌었잖아 애딸린 유부남 보기 싫음— 양도계 (@o_ui0412) January 13, 2020
"Jongdae, just leave the group and do no harm EXO. You have earned enough, I do not want to see a gander with a child"
진짜 8년 팬질 후회하게 만드네. 오늘은 엑소 너네한테 다 화가 나. 우린 너희가 하는 말 하나하나 다 마음에 새기는데, 어떻게 너넨 너네가 스스로 한 말도 지키지 못하니? 그래 첸 종대야 그냥 탈퇴해. 너도 수많은 고민했겠지만 나도 쉽게 하는 말 아니다. 엑소에서 나가.— 피터팬 (@C2pjUfu80SanDNd) January 13, 2020
"I'm starting to regret being a fan for 8 years. Jongdae, leave the group, you have already lost our trust. We treasured you so much, but you cannot even fulfil the promise you made. Leave the group "
"If you won't have a baby (expecting), when would you tell (us) about this?"
Fansites, who supported Chen as a member of EXO and his solo activities announced they are closing in the light of the news.
close— 모닝스타 (@exomorningstar) January 13, 2020
영원이라고 믿고 싶었는데, 역시 영원한 건 없더라.
작년부터 어긋난 조각은 붙잡고 있던건 역시 나 혼자였어.
지금이라도 알려줘서 고마워
"I wanted to believe that it was eternity, but nothing lasted forever. Thanks for letting me know now."
In the official app fans post photos of destroyed stuff with Chen, selling it after years of collecting.
"For me, Chen from EXO no longer exists. If you are going to teach me, do not even come to me. It is my right to express my thoughts."
"Why is it so hard for you to say just "i am sorry" to your fans? Shame on you. Never heard of an idol becoming father before the wedding? How could I be a fan? No quiet days in fandom, just leave the band."
The situation on LYSN app is so bad. The obsessive korean bi+ches are posting these photos (1st pic) asking Jongdae to leave the group. Please spam LYSN with the 2nd photo and write some positive comments#종대응원#우리_종대 pic.twitter.com/nk1qukiFm5— Sel, With Jongdae | ØBSĖSSIØN (@IBaekAguas) January 13, 2020
But some fans in an effort to protect their favourite idol tried to bring those grief-stricken fans to their senses.
"It was hard for Jongdae to say that too, just do not cross the line. I see many posts beyond the pale. He is a human, too. Don't ever think he can be hurt too? If you are an idol, so you cannot get married and just do your job? We can be in relationships, can have a wedding and no one tells us about it nothing. Don't you think EXO will not like that members are congratulating with news and fans are demanding departure?"
아니 왜 종대를 욕하는거지?종대도 성인이고 축복이라고 했고 평생을 함께하고 싶은 여자라고 했으니까 결혼할 생각이 있었을거고 팬들을 위해서 자필로 먼저 발표한건데 왜 종대한테 탈퇴해라 이런 나쁜말 말고 축복해줘야져!!— ⛤9인지지 아이사⛤ (@exo_x99c21) January 13, 2020
"Why are you all swearing at Jongdae, that he needs to leave the band? His wedding and baby is the reason to be happy and be grateful. He told everything because of you, himself and you are swearing at him"
Korean fans of Chen are known as "soondingies" and are trying to show more love and support with international fans, who met the news with joy and happiness trending #webelieveinjongdae and #exois9 in Korean twitter.
Chen, real name Kim Jong-dae, is the first member from EXO to get married and the first one to become a father.
Chen debuted in 2012 as part of the nine-man group Exo, which is one of the most popular K-pop boy bands in the industry. The group recently released their sixth Korean album Obsession, which charted on the Billboard 200.