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Wei Shen is the protagonist of Sleeping Dogs. He is a police officer in Hong Kong that goes undercover in order to infiltrate the Triads and take them down. In the game's original incarnation in the earliest stages of its development, Wei Shen was not a part of the design. The original version of the project, Black Lotus, was to feature a female protagonist. However, changes were made, and the original protagonist concept was discarded.
Wei grew up without a father. He moved from Hong Kong to San Francisco with his mother and sister at age 10, to help his sister Mimi overcome her drug addiction.
His sister eventually died from an overdose, and as a result, his mother committed suicide. As an act of revenge, Wei murdered his sisters' dealer (who provided her with an overdose of heroin), Ming Ming Trin, during an undercover operation. Due to a lack of evidence, and a false alibi given by the case officer, Wei was not convicted. The case remained open although it was widely known what Wei did.
These events made Superintendent Pendrew believe Wei would be the perfect candidate to infiltrate the Sun On Yee.