Venture capital firms are now placing more and bigger bets on Chinese Internet companies, making China the second-largest recipient of venture capital financing in terms of deal volume last year, the first time the nation has climbed that high in the rankings.

Chinese companies operating in the consumer services industry, which includes many Internet companies, raised $3.3 billion in 2011. That accounts for more than half of the total venture capital funding raised among Chinese firms, Dow Jones VentureSource said Thursday.

Chinese companies attracted $6 billion in venture capital equity financing in 2011. Companies in the U.K. took in $1.7 billion as part of $6.1 billion in capital for all of Europe.

In terms of the number of deals, China accounted fot 332 venture capital equity financing deals in 2011, surpassing the U.K.'s 274. The U.S. retained its lead with 3,209 deals.

In 2011, the median size of a venture capital deal for a Chinese company was $12.4 million more than four times the median deal size in Europe, at $2.7 million. The U.S. median deal size for venture capital financing was $5 million.

Guido Schenk, sales director for Dow Jones VentureSource said venture capitalists have shown "significant interest" in funding Chinese companies because they think China is "a growing economy" and presents a "strong exit environment."