Luo, 25, was accused of posting dozens of "comments and inappropriate images insulting to the leader of this country" while studying in the U.S. in September and October 2018, the court said. Among the tweets cited by the court in evidence against Lu was a depiction of President Xi as Winnie the Pooh, whose likeness has been banned from China's tightly controlled internet after a number of memes likening the fictional bear to the president went viral.
Luo was detained on July 12, 2019 by police in his hometown of Wuhan after he returned to China for the summer vacation, it said. He was handed a six-month jail term on Nov. 5, 2019 for "picking quarrels and stirring up trouble," a charge frequently used to target peaceful critics of the government. Luo was released on Jan. 11, 2020 after time in pretrial detention was included as part of his sentence.