China’s Xiaomi Filing for Big IPO in Hong Kong

Xiaomi, one of the biggest makers of smartphones in the world, has filed to become a public company in Hong Kong in what should be a massive initial public offering.

The Chinese company handed in its documents on Thursday to list its shares on the stock exchange in Hong Kong. The filing did not give any specific details on the size of the IPO, but reports are that it could be as big as $10 billion.

Xiaomi, which is one of the most valuable startups anywhere in the world, did not comment on Thursday about the value of its IPO, which should take place within the next few months.

In 2014, when it raised funds, Xiaomi was given a value of $45 billion. Some reports recently have suggested that the company’s IPO could put the valuation at close to $100 billion, but one person close to the situation said that company is planning to go public at a value lower than $100 billion.

A wave of huge tech companies in China is considering filing for IPOs over the next year, including Ant Financial the online payments behemoth.

Xiaomi, which was founded in 2010, was the fifth largest maker of smartphones worldwide in 2017, shipping over 92 million handsets, shows data from IDC the research firm.

The main business of Xiaomi is phone, but the company also makes a broad range of other devices that are internet connected including laptops and a smart rice cooker.

Xiaomi said that it sells products it makes in 74 different countries. It has seen strong growth across India, where it overtook Samsung as the largest selling smartphone maker.

On Thursday, the documents filed by Xiaomi shed light on the company’s finances. Revenue surged 70% during 2017 to end the quarter at $18 billion while operating profit tripled to $1.9 billion.

Xiaomi was in the headlines during 2014 when it was listed as the most valuable startup in the world. However, the company experiences trouble, suffering a fall in 2016 in its sales of smartphones, as it was hit with problems with its supply chain.

Current CEO Lei Jun on Thursday said that the crisis had been a big turning point for the business.

As with Apple, Xiaomi makes its money through services that are linked to the smartphones it makes, which come with video and music streaming apps that is branded to them and already installed on its handsets.