Dramatic rumors have recently circulated concerning the chairman of China’s digital game company Yoozoo. Lin Qi, also an executive producer for Netflix’s long-waited sci-fi adaption of “The Three-Body Problem,” was reported to be intentionally poisoned on Dec. 17 by his colleague.
The rumor ran rampant on Chinese social media platforms for days since no official reports revealed the victim or perpetrator’s full name. However, some internet users claimed that Lin was rushed to the ICU and suffered severe brain damage. Yoozoo denied the rumor and released a statement yesterday, saying: “Lin experienced acute symptoms on Dec. 16 on his way home but managed to go to the hospital himself and is gradually recovering.”
However, the Shanghai Public Security Bureau’s report only fueled questions online. The statement said “A male, 39-year-old patient surnamed Lin was suspected of having been poisoned while receiving diagnosis and treatment at a hospital on Dec. 17. After on-site surveys and investigations, it was discovered that Lin’s colleague surnamed Xu (male, 39) was suspected of committing the crime.” Chinese social media still tied the statement back to Yoozoo’s chairman.
As a result, Yoozoo’s stock fell nearly 3% to close at 14.07 yuan ($2.15) yesterday for a total market value of 12.886 billion yuan. Once the top Chinese mobile games publisher in terms of global revenue in 2020 selected by Sensor Tower, Yooozoo Group made net profits of $75.8 million (495 million yuan) in the first half of 2020, an increase of 22% year-on-year, according to its semi-annual report. However, according to Yoozoo Games’ third-quarter report, the net profit of the listed company was 560 million yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 20.56%.
At present, Xu has been criminally detained by police and Chinese media implied the suspect may be Xu Yao, a senior executive of Yoozoo Pictures and the CEO of the Three-Body Universe, a subsidiary of the Three-Body IP development group.
Founded by Lin in 2009, Yoozoo is a world-leading interactive entertainment provider that has partnered with tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Alibaba. After being listed on China’s stock market, Yoozoo established Yoozoo Pictures in 2014. The most widely-known project is “The Three-Body Problem” film series, written by Hugo Award-winning Chinese sci-fi writer Liu Cixin.