2. Some big-name U.S. companies are exposed.
General Motors, Apple, Boeing, Caterpillar and United Technologies, for starters. But not all of them will admit to being worried.
Take GM. The automaker sold more than 3.5 million vehicles in China last year through different joint ventures with local companies. Last month it said that it's investing $5 billion in new lines of cars being tailored for developing markets led by China and Brazil. GM claims it has nearly 15 percent of the China market, and gained market share in the second quarter. Retail sales in China dipped 1.4 percent during the quarter, but wholesale sales were up 7 percent as some cars made in China were exported.
As for Boeing, experts told the Washington Post the long lead times for aircraft orders will insulate the aerospace giant from major effects for some time. Boeing shares are down more than 10 percent in the last week and are roughly 19 percent off their 52-week high, but Boeing today raised its 20-year outlook for sales to China by 5 percent, to 6,330 aircraft worth $950 billion.
"Despite the current volatility in China's financial market, we see strong growth in the country's aviation sector over the long term," Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, told reporters in Beijing, according to Reuters.
Just like Boeing, Apple is fighting back against the perception that sales will soon be hit by softer demand in China.
"I get updates on our performance in China every day, including this morning, and I can tell you that we have continued to experience strong growth for our business in China through July and August," Cook said in an email to CNBC's Jim Cramer yesterday. Apple shares briefly rallied on Monday on the Cook email, but it wasn't until Tuesday that investor momentum in Apple shares was sustained, with the stock up 5 percent amid a broad tech sector rally. Apple shares are still down 18 percent since its July 22 earnings report.
Caterpillar has said the dollar's strength has hurt sales, raising fears that the more-recent devaluation of China's currency will add to the pain. United Technologies fell 7 percent the day it announced weak second-quarter earnings last month, blaming currency issues and the China slowdown.