Just when you thought Alibaba represented China's future.
Along comes this potential crackdown on Hong Kong protests to remind us of China's not too distant past.
The two seem mutually at odds.
And in the span of little more than a week, they offer starkly different views of what China is to become on the one hand -- appealing capital haven.
On the other -- a strong-arming ogre from which freedom-lovers seek haven.
There are no in-betweens.
Alibaba cannot succeed if Hong Kong protesters cannot vent.
If Beijing is truly hands-off, as Alibaba bragged in pitching its IPO here, it can't be cracking down on Hong Kong citizens demanding Beijing be just as hands-off there.
The risk isn't that China re-lives another Tiananmen Square.
The risk is that it wipes out everything it's done since Tinanmen Square.
For decades China has tried to make the world forget what happened then, and focus instead on what it was becoming now.
As if to say, that was the old China. This is the new China.
An inviting China, an open for business China, even if throughout it's never quite been an open to all China.
That China has never been. Not then. Not since. Not now.
It remains an economic superpower that even now, cannot grasp what it means to be an economic super power.
What it means to appreciate the workers and talent that make you an economic super power.
What it means to attract capital and not chase off capital.
Lately, China's been chasing off capital Hong Kong's Hang Seng index abrupt two percent selloff this morning, is just the latest reminder that nervous investors sell first, and ask questions later.
Just like they've been selling Alibaba shares.
They're not panicking. But they are worrying.
Because many fear the true colors China are showing.
And they don't like what they're seeing.
China not so much clashing with demonstrators as China's past clashing with its present.
The world's biggest capitalist conundrum clashing with itself.
Be rich, or die trying.
Because the freedom to make money means the freedom of a government to comfortably embrace its citizens having money and making more money and wanting and doing the things that come with money and having more money.
Alibaba proved investors embrace the new China.
Hong Kong proves they might have done so a little too soon.