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What happened to Jin Yu? Death of Clubhouse influencer shocks social media

Bruno Cooke August 11, 2021
jin yu death


Clubhouse influencer, digital entrepreneur and Surkus co-founder Jin Yu (aka WOLF x LION) passed away yesterday (10 August), surrounded by his family – “as peacefully as possible”. Friends, family members and collaborators have since commemorated Jin Woo Yu’s death on social media.

What happened to Jin Woo Yu?

Approximately three weeks ago, members of Jin Yu’s family appear to have been called to Los Angeles, where Yu was in hospital on an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine.

In other words, he was on life support. His sister is quoted as saying that, when she arrived in LA, she “knew it was serious”. But his death still came as a surprise.

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In a statement released via Instagram eight hours ago, music producer and songwriter Rod Kim wrote that, as recently as the beginning of July, Jin Yu was “a healthy dude”.

“What seems like overnight, we got the news that he was in an induced coma and on a ventilator for the bug.”

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“It’d been a couple of weeks and everyone was hoping he’d pull through, but today I got the message that he didn’t make it.”

Tributes following Jin Yu’s death

Besides describing the weeks that led up to Jin Yu’s death, Rod Kim, who is a songwriter and occasional actor, celebrated and commemorated his friend and collaborator.

Kim wrote that Jin Yu “did so much and gave so much to everyone without expecting anything in return”. 

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Photo by Jesse Grant/WireImage

“He was the opposite of what people think when they imagine the stereotypical ‘Hollywood’ dude. We shouldn’t have lost him. In a world of douchebags and conspiracy theorists, why did it have to be someone who was doing actual good?”

Others who knew Jin Woo Yu before he died added their tributes. In a Twitter post addressed to Yu, musician and radio producer Anthony Valadez described him as an “amazing son”.

Mashable founder Pete Cashmore called him generous, kind and warm-hearted (see below).

What was the cause of death?

While it’s not clear exactly what caused Jin Yu’s death, Latest News South Africa reports that he recently had covid-19.

Meanwhile, users on Twitter have made reference to the disease as a cause of Yu’s passing.

In his tribute post, Rod Kim writes that he would “rather be overcautious than lose someone like Jin Yu. And”, he addressed his readers, “I hope that you don’t have to lose someone to believe the science and do what, somewhere deep inside, you know you should be doing.”

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Photo by Chris Weeks/WireImage

Before making his forays into digital entrepreneurship, Jin Yu spent 10 years as a managing partner at Jin&Quinn, producing experimental events in Los Angeles.

He attended the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or