Gay cowboy romance Brokeback Mountain has been banned in mainland China after outraging censors there.

The film shocked China's broadcast regulator the State Administration of Radio, Film + Television, as the nation still considers homosexuality a taboo subject.

Director Ang Lee last week hailed Asia for having a more open-minded stance on sexuality - so the ban will be a blow to the Taiwanese film maker.

Meanwhile, sexual content in Memoirs Of A Geisha, which stars Chinese stars Gong Li and Ziyi Zhang, also caused a stir.

But distributor Columbia TriStar insists the movie will eventually be screened in China.

General manager LI CHOW says, "The movie has been passed by the censors and is now in the dubbing process.

"We've had no official screening date, but we're optimistic 'Geisha' will be shown here."