A 24-year-old student who returned from overseas study was beaten to death after he refused to join an illegal pyramid sales group in Dongguan, Guangdong province, Southern Metropolis Daily reported on Friday.
Sun Yanyu, from Heilongjiang province, who had studied at a university in Poland for two years, went to Dongguan to seek employment on July 1.
He contacted what he initially thought was a "big-name company", but which he later found out was a pyramid sales group, according to the report.
When members of the group failed to persuade Sun to join them, they beat him to death on July 6.
Police have launched an investigation into the case.