Photo went viral

A CHANGED MAN: Disgraced Chinese political star Bo Xilai at his trial in the Intermediate People's Court in Jinan, Shandong province, yesterday.


    Aug 23, 2013

    Photo went viral

    IN THE first picture of Bo Xilai in almost 18 months, the fallen politician stands in the dock at the beginning of his trial, slightly stooped, his hair trimmed and tinged with grey at the temples.

    The image is far removed from the slick politician of old who was often clad in tailored suits, before his downfall in a murder, corruption and abuse-of-power scandal.

    While the 64-year-old appeared to have lost some weight, his none-too-slight frame - he stands at around 1.82m - was noticeably shorter than that of the two policemen flanking him.

    The moment the picture was posted on the court's account on Chinese microblogging service Sina Weibo, journalists at a media centre in a nearby hotel rushed to take photos of it.

    "Bo's more than 1.8m tall," said one. "The cops next to him must be taller than 1.9m. Were they chosen for that purpose?"

    By yesterday evening, the picture had become one of the most popular on Weibo, being reposted 60,000 times, with hundreds of people commenting.

    Other microbloggers speculated about the position of the fingers on Bo's left hand, which appear to form an "OK" sign, with some online saying that he was sending a message to son Bo Guagua that he is fine.