According to the South China Morning Post, Xiaomi is looking to raise $10 billion in the largest IPO by a Chinese tech company in four years.
It's also a vital shot in the arm for a city that's been floundering in its claim to be mainland China's gateway to the financial world, ever since Alibaba chose NY over Hong Kong for its US$25 billion IPO in 2014, which still holds the record as the world's biggest stock sale.
The third-largest phone maker in China and the fourth-largest worldwide, Xiaomi's filing is also a boon for Hong Kong's stock exchange, which recently loosened its rules to try and attract more companies to list there. Armed with the new rules allowing the listing of companies with dual-class structures, Hong Kong is eyeing several tech listings that are expected in the coming two years from Chinese firms with a combined market cap of United States dollars 500 billion.
The filing said the company posted a loss of 43.9 billion yuan ($6.9 billion) in 2017, but that revenue jumped 67.5 percent to 114.5 billion yuan. Which is in contrast to profit made by the company previous year.
That offered investors a glimpse into the inner workings of the company controlled by billionaire Lei Jun, and its ups-and-downs since nearly dropping off the radar in 2016.
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Lei Jun and Xiaomi co-founder and vice president Lin Bin will both hold the more powerful class A shares, according to the IPO application.
Xiaomi made headlines in 2014 when it became the world's most valuable startup. It sold investors on a promise that it was not just a smartphone maker, but that it would use phones as a mechanism to sell services and ads to customers. It now sells everything from smartphones and fitness trackers to rice cookers and suitcases.
Then it tried to expand too fast overseas and competitors undercut Xiaomi on price, copied its online sales model and locked in retailers in rural areas to capture first-time buyers.
The tech firm is also expected to issue Chinese depository receipts (CDRs) after it goes public.
Smartphones continue to represent the bulk of sales at 70 percent, with smart devices pulling in 20 percent more and services responsible for the remainder. Xiaomi is reportedly talking to USA carriers about selling its flagship phones in the states starting later this year, or early in 2019.
The company is also facing greater competition in emerging markets like India and Indonesia, where competitors Huawei, Oppo and Vivo are expanding.