ABSTRACT China’s Internet literature (CIL) epitomises one of the most vibrant platformised cultural sectors in China and is characterised by a distinct gender demarcation. This paper critically revisits the history of its gendered development by identifying nüpin (women’s channel) and nüxing-xiang (women-oriented) as keywords in China’s cultural sphere. Drawing from platform studies and cultural studies, the study examines the power dynamics underpinning the construction and evolution of nüpin and nüxing-xiang, and the implications for their normalisation. My research finds that nüpin is established on patriarchal assumptions that prescriptively confine women’s literature to certain genres as a point of difference for market competition. Additionally, while nüxing-xiang started as a community identity, it later became incorporated into the nüpin effect through the increasing convergence of CIL and multimedia sectors. By unveiling how individual platforms, users, market forces, gender norms, and power relations intersect to shape the trajectories of these keywords, this article lays the groundwork for interventions to challenge the prevailing gendered binarity in CIL.

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