National Post (National Edition)
Colleague of gaming titan arrested in fatal poisoning
Chinese CEO died eight days after sipping tea
LONDON • A suspect has been detained in China over the fatal poisoning of a billionaire video games developer.
Lin Qi, the 39-year-old chief executive of Yoozoo Games, which developed a popular title based on the Game of Thrones franchise, died on Christmas Day, eight days after he was admitted to hospital.
Yoozoo Games said Lin had been suffering from “acute symptoms of illness” and initially said he was in a stable condition and improving before his death was announced. Police in Shanghai have arrested a 39-year-old colleague of Lin, identified only as Mr. Xu.
They said in a statement that the suspect was detained “in accordance with the law while the relevant investigative work is carried out.”
Chinese media reports have claimed that Lin, who has a net worth estimated at US$1.3 billion, died after drinking poisoned pu'er fermented tea on Dec. 17. He did not regain consciousness before his death.
Yoozoo shares dropped as much as 18 per cent on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange following reports of the death of Lin.
“We hope that (such) behaviour will not change our well-wishes for the world or change our destination,” Yoozoo said via its official WeChat account. It said it was “operating as normal” following the death of its chief executive.
Yoozoo is best known for Game of Thrones: Winter Is Coming, a popular Chinese role-playing game based on the television and book franchise.
Before his death, Lin was working as a producer on a new Netflix series based on the Chinese science-fiction book series The Three-Body Problem written by Liu Cixin.
He was producing the series alongside Game of Thrones television show creators David Benioff and DB Weiss.
Yoozoo's film and television division had purchased the rights to produce a six-film series based on the trilogy of books, which have been praised by Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive.
However, it scrapped its own adaptation of the books and granted Netflix the rights to produce its own series based on the trilogy earlier this year.
Yoozoo posted a tribute to its chief executive on Chinese social media last week, writing: “You saw through what was imperfect but still believed in beauty; encountered unkindness but still believed in kindness. Together, we will continue to be kind, continue to believe in beauty, and continue to fight against all that is unkind.”