Sony had decided to cancel the Christmas Day release amid hackers’ threats against theaters showing the movie but eventually reversed the decision, making it available online on YouTube, Google Play and Xbox Video.
As of Friday evening, more than 1 million views of “The Interview” were recorded in three illegal Chinese video-streaming sites, including Acfun.tv. On the Acfun.tv site alone, the number of views hit about 571,000.’
China’s ruling Communist Party puts a tight censorship on the Internet and the name of the Sony film is not available on major search engines, including Baidu.com, on Friday.
Asked about the illegal Chinese video-streaming sites putting “The Interview” online, China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular press briefing that she was not aware of it.
“As for, what you mentioned, some Chinese Web sites showing a pirated version of the film, I am not aware of that,” Hua said. “The Chinese government is firmly cracking down on this kind of piracy.”
North Korea denied involvement in the hacking attack on Sony but lauded it as a “righteous deed.” It proposed a joint investigation with the United States, claiming that it has a way to prove it has nothing to do with the case.
But the U.S. rejected the North’s suggestion and said it believes the North is responsible.