By Sandy K. Johnson

For business and entrepreneurs in China, this is the era of Alibaba: Let the good times roll.

Eric Li, founder of venture capital firm Chengwei Capital, said he grew up being told that China would never produce a $1 billion business. Today, 22 companies in just the Internet space alone have revenues of $1 billion or more.

The online market is soaring in China, where there are 618 million Internet users compared to 250 million in the United States. The potential for growth is extremely attractive to investors like Li. One of his VC bets was on video streaming YouKu, a Chinese version of YouTube that has 700 million viewers.