There may be clouds on the horizon of the largest and most exciting market in the world.
China is starting to make some noise about acquiring technology from many of the Western automobile companies that are now doing business there.
It will be difficult for those companies to say no to the Chinese on requests for all the current and future technology related to electric vehicles.
In fact, it will become increasingly difficult for Western automobile companies to resist any demand from their Chinese partners. The Chinese market has become so important that anything the Chinese request -- or demand -- probably will be understood as the price one has to pay for doing business in that booming marketplace.
Not long ago, a European automobile executive warned me that when the Chinese market was so important to a car company, it would be conceivable that the Chinese partner would say thanks for the education and cooperation -- and take over the enterprise.
That view was seconded by an equally well-placed American executive who said the Chinese were learning as much as they could from their Western partners, and when the Chinese felt they knew enough to exist on their own, they would take over the companies.
It's a scary possibility. But with the recent stories about Chinese interest in electric-vehicle technology, it's feasible that somewhere down the line, the Chinese might feel empowered to nationalize the industry, leaving all Western companies out in the cold.
The only possible retaliation might be to exclude Chinese companies from exporting to any Western nation. The idea of a trade war seems unfathomable, but it could happen.
Many companies are feasting on the success they have had in China. The market is booming, and there are no indications of it slowing in the future. In China, a slow automotive market might mean growth of less than 10 percent.
The Chinese partners all have strong positions with their Western partners.
It is fascinating to watch the evolution of that marketplace.