Even as the rest of the world sputtered, China's economy seemed to shake off the malaise to bounce back ahead of weaker countries.

Is the rest of the world going to have the last laugh on China?

Several Chinese companies will be reporting their latest quarterly earnings this week, but growth investors may want to shield their eyes. Plenty of the country's consumer-facing companies -- the very ones that should be thriving in an economic boom -- are going the wrong way.

These are just a few of the China-based companies projected to post dips in year-over-year profitability this week.

Company

Latest Quarter EPS (Estimated)

Year-Ago Quarter EPS

China Distance Education (NYSE: DL)

($0.04)

($0.01)

AirMedia (Nasdaq: AMCN)

($0.14)

$0.16

VisionChina (Nasdaq: VISN)

$0.08

$0.20

China Nepstar (NYSE: NPD)

$0.05

$0.06

SINA (Nasdaq: SINA)

$0.36

$0.49

Giant Interactive (NYSE: GA)

$0.11

$0.18

Source: Yahoo Finance.

These companies span the range of industries across China. AirMedia and VisionChina run advertising networks that hit Chinese citizenry when they're on the move. AirMedia sets up camp in airports, while VisionChina's screens can be found on buses and subway trains.

China Distance Education is a for-profit educator, which ironically happens to be one of the few sectors that have thrived in the United States during this recession. China Nepstar is a popular drugstore chain, SINA runs well-trafficked websites, and Giant Interactive operates online multiplayer games.

This obviously doesn't mean that all growth is dead in the world's most populous nation. Leading search engine Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) recently came through with quarterly revenue and earnings growth of 40% and 48%, respectively.

However, investors have to be more careful than ever when it comes to buying stocks overseas. The divide is wide between winners and losers -- even in the seemingly booming China.

Baidu is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. Sina is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Try any of these newsletter services -- for free -- for the next 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a fan of China's growth story but he does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.