China’s National Copyright Administration (NCAC) called on netizens to “fight against movie piracy” after finding that full-HD movies had been up for sale on messaging app WeChat and microblogging platform Weibo over the holiday season, priced at RMB 1 (USD 0.15) per movie, according to The Paper (in Chinese).
China’s box office totaled more than RMB 5.8 billion in the first week of the Chinese New Year (starting Feb 5), a new record compared to the RMB 5.7 billion during the same period last year, figures from online ticketing platform Maoyan show.
In a Weibo post on Sunday (in Chinese), the NCAC asked netizens to blow the whistle on movie pirates by reporting illegal download links. It said it would report offenders to the police and that multiple government departments had stepped up their attempts to curb online piracy over the holiday season.
Gong Geer, producer of Chinese sci-fi blockbuster The Wandering Earth, shared the Weibo post, asking his followers for tip-offs to help crack down on movie pirates. In an interview with state-owned media Beijing Youth Daily on Friday, Gong estimated that more than 20 million viewers have seen pirated movies on illegal streaming services over the holiday period.
Despite the piracy, The Wandering Earth went on to dominate the box office over the break, raking in a whopping USD 298 million in its first six days on screen, according to Forbes.
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