Redefining Relations Between Creators and Audiences in the Digital Age: The Social Production and Consumption of Chinese Internet Literature

Yuyan Feng, Ioana Literat


This article examines the ways in which the traditional relationship between authors and their audiences is being challenged and redefined in the context of Chinese Internet literature. We look at the evolution of the reader–writer dynamic in line with the development of online literary spaces in China, analyze the crucial role of social media as both curator and mediator, and trace the development of participatory cultures and commercial dynamics in these literary communities. This analysis illustrates how the relationship between authors and audiences—traditionally indirect and distant—has become, in online spaces, more direct, informal, and bidirectional while maintaining a significant commercial ethos. We argue that both the production and the consumption of Chinese Internet literature are quintessentially social activities, as online spaces open up new possibilities for communication and collaboration, both between authors and readers and among readers themselves.


Internet literature, China, online communities, participatory culture, authorship, creativity

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