Chinese film authorities and critics were unimpressed by the casting of homegrown actresses Ziyi Zhang and Gong Li in Japanese roles, and the fact Japan committed atrocities in China during the period the film is set.
A spokesman for distributor Sony Columbia Tristar Pictures says, "(It will not be released in China) because of the negative social response to the film reflected on various media.
"We were pleased with the acceptance of the film in November and were disappointed by this decision."
Despite this decision, Chinese film fans hoping to see the film are buying illegal copies on the black market.
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