The CEO of Shanghai-based mobile developer Yoozoo, Lin Qi, died on Christmas Day, at the age of 39. Lin is said to be the victim of an apparent poisoning plot. Shanghai police have a suspect in custody, but are only identifying them by their surname, Xu.
Yoozoo is best known for the browser-based Game of Thrones: Winter is Coming game, but has a large catalog of mobile games in China. The company also has a film and television production arm. The film division had been working with Netflix on an adaptation of the Hugo Award winning sci-fi trilogy The Three-Body Problem after purchasing the film and video game rights to the series in 2015. Yoozoo had attempted to do the adaptation in-house, but subsequently gave up on it and sold the film rights to Netflix, with Lin serving as executive producer, and also involving Game of Thrones show runners, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. The video game rights were sold to an unnamed Chinese game development company.
Lin was admitted to a local hospital on December 16, complaining of difficulty walking and symptoms of “acute illness.” The day before Lin’s death, police detained the suspect. The suspect in question is reportedly a senior executive within Yoozoo’s film division. Unconfirmed media reports suggest that Lin was given a poisoned cup of pu’er, a fermented tea.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Shanghai Public Security Bureau put out the following statement on their Weibo social media account: “At 5pm on Dec 17, 2020, the police received a call from a hospital regarding a patient surnamed Lin. During the patient’s treatment, the hospital said it had determined that the patient had been poisoned. Following the call, the police began an investigation. According to investigations on site and further interviews, the police found that a suspect surnamed Xu, who is a coworker of the victim Lin, was the most likely the perpetrator. The suspect Xu has been arrested and investigations continue.”