BEIJING — Helmer Chen Kaige’s contemporary social drama about online witchhunts, “Caught in the Web,” has been selected as mainland China’s contender in the foreign language film category at next year’s Academy Awards.

News was carried by local media and confirmed by the Film Bureau of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television.

Pic took in a respectable $28 million at the box office during its release in July.

It’s the fourth time Kaige has been picked as China’s standard bearer at the Oscars. He was also nominated for Palme D’Or winner “Farewell, My Concubine” in 1993, “The Promise” in 2005 and “Forever Enthralled” in 2009.

“Caught in the Web” stars Gao Yuanyuan, Wang Xueqi, Mark Chao, Chen Hong, Yao Chen, Wang Ludan, Chen Ran, Zhang Yi and Chang Baohua.

Many had expected Feng Xiaogang’s famine-themed blockbuster “Back to 1942” to get the nod, but it will not be released in time to compete.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the five nominees for best foreign film on Jan. 10. The 85th Academy Awards ceremony takes place Feb. 24.