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Former executive given death sentence in poisoning of founder of high-flying Chinese gaming company

BEIJING — A former executive at Yoozoo Games was sentenced to death on Friday in the 2020 poisoning of the founder of the high-profile Chinese gaming company, which has links to Game of Thrones and the new Netflix series, “The Three-Body Problem.”

Xu Yao poisoned the food of company founder Lin Qi in December 2020 because of a dispute over the running of the business, the Shanghai First Intermediate People’s Court said.

Lin, who was 39, died about 10 days later. Police detained Xu a few days after Lin’s death.

Four other people were sickened but did not die after Xu poisoned beverages in the office between September and December 2020 because of disputes with two of them, the court said in a statement.

Yoozoo owns the 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.

Yoozoo, also known as Youzu Interactive, developed “Game of Thrones: Winter Is Coming,” a game based on the TV series.

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