Xiaomi gets off to a slow start with Hong Kong IPO

Chinese Smartphone Maker Xiaomi Falls in Hong Kong Trading Debut

China's Xiaomi, the world's fifth biggest seller of smartphones, made an underwhelming public debut after it hit the Hong Kong Stock Exchange amid concerns around an ongoing trade war between the USA and China.

Xiaomi priced the IPO at the bottom of the range it offered, in a deal worth $4.72 billion - the world's biggest technology float in nearly four years. "It's open to everybody.If you don't like the price, you can stay away".

The IPO pricing valued the firm, which also makes internet-connected home appliances and gadgets, at about $54 billion, nearly half its original $100 billion ambition earlier this year.

Speaking at the ceremonial opening of trading, Xiaomi's chairman Jun Lei acknowledged that the timing of the IPO might not be optimal given the state of trade friction between the U.S. and China.

Typically companies are valued on a multiple of profits or sales.

Apart from tough market conditions, the tepid demand for Xiaomi's offering was also because many potential investors mainly view it as a hardware maker instead of a hardware-plus-internet-services firm as the company calls itself, sources have said.

The company, which had hoped to be valued at $100bn (£75 billion) earlier this year, is now worth about $53bn, making it the third largest listed maker of mobile phones.

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Mo Jia, a Shanghai-based analyst with industry consultancy Canalys, said the weak debut was to be expected. Most recent floats in Hong Kong dropped below IPO prices. There has been a bit of debate as to whether or not it is a hardware company or an internet company, perhaps when the dust settles and investors know what they're getting into we could see the price move in Xiaomi's favour.

Founded in 2010, Xiaomi was the fifth biggest smartphone maker in the world past year, according to research firm IDC. That is far short of the oversubscription rates for other tech IPOs in Hong Kong.

"From day one, we've set up a dual-class share structure".

Tencent (TCEHY) said over the weekend that it plans to list its music streaming business in the United States, and online services platform Meituan Dianping filed last month to go public in Hong Kong.

Xiaomi sold 2.18 billion shares in its IPO, 1.4 billion of which were new shares.

Xiaomi is the biggest smartphone seller in India and is making inroads in Europe.

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