Former Yoozoo Games executive sentenced to death over fatal poisoning of one of richest men in China

Former Yoozoo Games executive sentenced to death over fatal poisoning of one of richest men in China
  • PublishedMarch 23, 2024

Xu Yao killed one of China’s richest entrepreneurs in 2020 and also tried to poison two of his colleagues. There had been a disagreement over how to run the company famed for developing Game Of Thrones: Winter Is Coming.

A former Yoozoo Games executive has been sentenced to death over the poisoning of the company’s founder.

Xu Yao poisoned Lin Qi’s food in December 2020 because they disagreed over how to run the business, according to the Shanghai First Intermediate People’s Court.

Mr Lin, 39, died 10 days later and police arrested Xu.

Xu, 43, had also poisoned drinks in the office between September and December that year, targeting two colleagues with whom he had also had differences.

They became ill but recovered, as did two other employees who consumed the drinks.

The court said Xu’s actions had been premeditated and had “endangered public safety”.

It added: “His motive for the crime was extremely despicable, the means of the crime was extremely malicious, the harmful consequences were extremely serious, the subjective malignancy was extremely significant.”

Under Chinese law, because the ruling was from the first court hearing Xu has the right to appeal, which would lead to a second, and final, hearing. It is not clear whether or not he will appeal.

Lin Qi, Chairman and CEO of Yoozoo Games
Image:Lin Qi, chairman and chief executive of Yoozoo Games, died 10 days after being poisoned. Pic: Getty

Mr Lin founded Yoozoo – also known as Youzu Interactive – in 2009 and became one of his homeland’s richest entrepreneurs.

He is believed to have had a net worth of around 6.8bn yuan (£745m) when he died, according to the Hurun China Rich List.

Yoozoo developed Game Of Thrones: Winter Is Coming, a game based on the TV series.

The company also owns film rights to The Three-Body Problem, a best-selling Chinese science fiction trilogy, and Xu headed up a subsidiary in charge of business related to it, according to Chinese media reports.

In September 2020, the company granted Netflix the right to produce an adaptation of the trilogy, Chinese state media reported at the time.


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