What would happen to Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) share price if the China bubble burst? Would it fare better than its rival Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU), gaining market share, or would it lose ground? Would investors get a chance to buy great companies like China Mobile (NYSE:CHL) at a fantastic discount, or would the telecom giant's prospects fall apart?

These are the kinds of questions I'm thinking about as I comb through recent articles discussing the "inevitable" economic downturn in China. There are some good arguments out there. For instance, James S. Chanos -- the superinvestor who made millions by sniffing out bubbles and then shorting homebuilders, troubled banks and companies like Enron -- says he's now betting against China. China's central bank just slightly raised a key interest rate, perhaps in an effort to slow overheated growth. Heck, this week's edition of The Economist even reads "Bubble Warning." And during my trip to Shanghai, I was amazed by mile after mile of new high-rise construction on the outskirts of the city. I was so struck by the seeming excess of new buildings that my wife had to make me promise to stop using the word "overcapacity."

This isn't to say I think a bubble is a foregone conclusion; there are many brilliant economists forecasting a sustained boom in the Far East. And as I wrote here, I think emerging middle-class consumers will be an economic force to be reckoned with over the next decade. But for the sake of argument, let's consider the impact of a punctured Chinese economy.

Firms involved in the Chinese construction boom would likely be hit hard. As noted in this article, companies like Aluminum Corp. of China (NYSE:ACH) and China Precision Steel have benefited from government stimulus support, making them vulnerable. Luxury good companies like Coach (NYSE:COH) and Estee Lauder (NYSE:EL) have only recently begun to recover from the Great Recession and are banking much of their future growth on overseas markets. Slowing sales abroad would set these firms back.

However, other companies could find great opportunities, just as Ford Motor (NYSE:F) did here in the U.S., as it took market share from other struggling rivals.

What is your opinion on the chances of a Chinese bubble? Which companies will be most affected, and which will find ways to strengthen their presence abroad? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

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Google and Baidu are Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendations. Ford Motor and Coach are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. The Fool owns shares of China Mobile. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services today free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Tom Winner does not own any shares of companies mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.