Chinese gaming tycoon Lin Qi passed away on Christmas Day after he was believed to have been poisoned by a colleague.

According to South China Morning Post, Qi, the chairman and chief executive of games developer Yoozoo, best known for the Game of Thrones: Winter Is Coming strategy game, was believed to have a net worth of around 6.8bn yuan (£960 million).

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A Chinese official has warned that any changes in America's adherence to the One-China policy would hamper the bilateral relations. [Representational Image]Reuters

Li hospitalized for food poisoning

On December 16, Qi was hospitalised after experiencing "acute symptoms of illness," according to a WeChat statement by Youzu Interactive, as Yoozoo is also called. He remained in hospital for two further weeks, until he died on Christmas Day (local time).

The company has earlier released a statement saying Qi had admitted himself to hospital after feeling unwell but was in a stable condition. However, things took a dramatic turn on December 25 when the company announced its founder had died.

The Shanghai police has characterised the matter as a suspected case of poisoning and has launched an investigation.

The police said in a blog post on Weibo that Qi's 39-year-old male colleague, identified only by his surname Xu, is suspected to be the culprit. Xu reportedly heads Yoozoo's movie production arm.

Certain local media reports also speculated that Qi had been poisoned via aged pu'er tea, a fermented Chinese drink. According to the Post, the suspect in the crime is now being held under detention by local authorities.

Yoozoo facing fierce competition in gaming market

Reports have also stated that Qi and the movie production arm of Yoozoo had been involved in work on a film adaptation of the popular sci-fi book series 'Three Body Problem' for American streaming platform Netflix.

Game of Thrones

The video game developer is said to have been facing a fierce competition in the gaming market since it debuted on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in 2014. Its gross profit margin has narrowed down from 70 per cent in 2014 to 31 per cent in 2019, according to the company's financial reports cited by the Post.

Meanwhile, shares of the company have further plunged by as much as 18 per cent since Qi was hospitalized in mid-December.