The Chinese broke Makarova’s serve five times to set up a quarterfinal clash with Italy’s Flavia Pennetta, Xinhua reported.
Pennetta beat Germany’s ninth-seeded Angelique Kerber in three sets.
Li also improved her record against the 25-year-old Russian to 5-0. Their last meeting was at the 2013 US Open quarterfinals, in which Li won 6-4, 6-7(5-7), 6-2.
Li Na, who lost to Victoria Azarenka in the 2013 final at Melbourne Park and to Kim Clijsters in 2011, reached the quarterfinal for the third time in four years and also improved her record at the Australian Open to 31 victories from 39 matches.