Sony have cancelled the Christmas release of The Interview, the film that apparently prompted the cyber-attack (AFP/Getty) / AFP/Getty

US wants China to help it tell off North Korea, but China wants to see the facts

China has condemned cyber-attacks in general, but is yet to speak out over the Sony hack in particular, which the US alleges was carried out by North Korea and perhaps with Chinese help.

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi made the comments to US secretary of state John Kerry in a phone conversation, but did not blame North Korea for the hackings against Sony Pictures, the ministry said in a statement.

Sony Pictures cancelled the release of the film The Interview, a comedy that revolves around the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, after receiving threats of terrorist attacks from hackers. US federal investigators have connected the hackings to North Korea.

The US has reached out to China, North Korea's key ally, for help as President Barack Obama weighs possible responses to the cyber attack. Although China holds considerable leverage over the North and its technological infrastructure, involving Beijing could pose complications because Mr Obama has pointedly accused China of engaging in its own acts of cyber theft.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying warned against suggesting that China was used as a platform for the attacks without sufficient evidence.

"I think to arrive at any conclusion, sufficient facts and evidence are needed," Ms Hua said at a daily news briefing. "China will handle the case on the basis of facts, international laws and Chinese laws."

Ms Hua reiterated Beijing's stance on cyber crime but did not directly condemn the Sony hackings or mention North Korea. She said Mr Wang told Mr Kerry that "China will handle the case on the basis of facts, international laws and norms, and Chinese laws".

Additional reporting by Press Association