The chairman of a Netflix-affiliated Chinese gaming company who was poisoned this month has died — and a co-worker remains the prime suspect in the shocking case, according to reports.
Yoozoo Group boss Lin Qi — executive producer of the streaming giant’s adaptation of The Three-Body Problem series of Chinese sci-fi books — was first hospitalized on December 16.
Chinese media outlets have identified a senior executive at Yoozoo, Xu Yao, as having targeted Lin after an internal dispute within the rising firm.
Now in custody, Xu headed the company’s film and television division and was chosen to oversee all projects related to The Three-Body Problem.
Yoozoo — which owns the production rights to the books — initially sought to produce film and gaming adaptations of the series but those projects flailed before the firm successfully partnered with Netflix.
Shanghai police began probing the case after hospital officials alerted them to Qi’s illness and suspected poisoning.
“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,” according to a social media post from the department. “The suspect Xu has been arrested and investigations continue.”
Lin, 39, was allegedly poisoned after drinking a compromised cup of tea, according to reports.
He was working with Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss in developing the highly anticipated project.
Written by acclaimed Chinese author Liu Cixin, The Three-Body series has emerged as a bestselling global phenomenon and won a slew of high profile awards.
Primarily a gaming developer, Yoozoo is also producing a video game based on Game of Thrones.
Shares of the company dropped by as much as 18 percent after Lin’s initial hospitalization.