Former ‘3 Body Problem’ exec who poisoned his boss in 2020 sentenced to death

Former ‘3 Body Problem’ exec who poisoned his boss in 2020 sentenced to death
via ThePaper
Bryan Ke
20 days ago
A former executive working on the “3 Body Problem” franchise in China has been sentenced to death for poisoning his boss in 2020 as revenge for his demotion and pay cut.
Key points:
  • Xu Yao, 43, received his sentencing on March 22, the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court announced on its WeChat channel.
  • The court said Xu plotted to poison Lin Qi, the billionaire owner of Chinese game studio, Yoozoo Games, and four other people over an office dispute. The four people reportedly survived.
The details:
  • Lin’s company acquired the copyrights and licenses for the trilogy, entitled “Remembrance of Earth’s Past,” created by Chinese author Liu Cixin in 2014. The other books in the series after “The Three-Body Problem” include “The Dark Forest” and “Death’s End.”
  • Lin hired Xu, a former lawyer, in 2017 to head Yoozoo Games’ subsidiary “The 3 Body Problem Universe.” The subsidiary’s purpose was to secure intellectual property rights for any adaptations of the novel. Lin and Xu also worked closely together to secure the deal with Netflix, which culminated in September 2020.
  • Tension began when Lin decided to put other executives in charge of handling business operations. The New York Times also noted that Xu, due to poor performance, was demoted and had his pay cut.
  • Xu started plotting his revenge soon after, going as far as setting up a laboratory to test out the poison he bought from the dark web on dogs and cats. Chinese media claimed that Xu was fascinated and inspired by “Breaking Bad.”
  • Xu enacted his revenge between September and December 2020, during which he laced beverages with methylmercury chloride, a toxic compound, and brought them to their office. He also gave Lin pills, masked as probiotic pills, which contained lethal substances.
  • Lin subsequently fell ill and took himself to the hospital on Dec. 16. He eventually died on Dec. 25, 2020, at the age of 39. Xu was arrested on Dec. 18, 2020.
The show:
  • The sentencing came a day after “3 Body Problem” debuted on Netflix on March 21. Lin is billed as an executive producer of the show. “3 Body Problem” was created by “Game of Thrones” TV creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff and “True Blood” showrunner Alex Woo.
  • Weiss and Benioff previously worked with Lin’s Yoozoo Games for the online strategy game “Game of Thrones: Winter Is Coming.”
  • Netflix’s “3 Body Problem” only received 11 million total views during its first four days since being released. The show can be considered as “underperforming” in garnering viewers, considering the $160 million budget of the series. For context, “1899,” which had a budget of $62 million and was canceled after its first season, only attracted 11 million total views.
  • The show reportedly spent two days at the No. 1 spot of Netflix’s Top 10 list before being replaced by newcomer “Testament: The Story of Moses.”
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