Lin Qi, who was co-producing a Netflix series "The Three-Body Problem," died on Christmas Day, Friday, December 25. The 39-year-old was reportedly in stable condition two days ago but died in the hospital on Friday. Lin, the billionaire CEO of Chinese video-game publisher Yoozoo, was allegedly poisoned by his co-worker.
According to Chinese media, police said that one of his colleagues, Xu Yao, was a key suspect and he is now in police custody. Local media reported that "work disputes" led to the assault on Lin that was allegedly carried out with poison in a cup of tea.
The deceased was an executive producer alongside the makers of "Game of Throne", David Benioff and D.B. Weiss on the English-language adaptation of novelist Liu Cixin's "Three-Body Problem" saga for Netflix. The trilogy consists of the three books "Remembrance of Earth's Past," "The Dark Forest" and "Death's End". It tells the story of Earth's first contact with an extraterrestrial civilization. However, Lin's company Yoozoo sold the adaptation rights of these best-selling books to Netflix.
Yoozoo, Primarily a game developer, is also producing a video game based on the popular series Game of Thrones. The company's shares dropped by as much as 18 percent after Lin's initial hospitalization.
Shanghai police said: "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 most likely the perpetrator."
While it was speculated that Lin was poisoned via a cup of pu-erh tea, some media reports also claimed that the victim might have administered the poison via medication. A doctor who attended the Yoozoo's CEO said that Lin ate blueberries the day he fell ill. But it is not clear whether they were a source of poison or not.
The doctor, surnamed Zhou, suspected that based on Lin's symptoms, the executive might have come in contact with a neurotoxin like the deadly tetrodotoxin found in pufferfish, while some local media said that he could have been hit with a cocktail of different poisons.
Lin went to a hospital on December 16 after he developed acute symptoms of illness and was stable until Friday. According to doctor Zhou, when he arrived at the hospital he could barely walk and was taken to ICU immediately. Lin had to be resuscitated after his heart stopped. He was then transferred to a second hospital but already appeared to show signs of brain death on December 17. A Chinese outlet said that Lin's case has left people stunned all around the world as they could not believe that the kind of plot that only appear in film and TV shows has happened in real life.