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Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi files for huge Hong Kong IPO

Smartphone and connected device maker Xiaomi filed for a Hong Kong initial public offering on 3 May, in what is expected to be one of the largest listings by a Chinese tech company in nearly four years.

That would make it the biggest IPO since Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba's $21.8 billion IPO in 2014 on the New York Stock Exchange.

The Chinese smartphone maker is taking advantage of changes in the former British colony that mean companies with different share classes can now list in the city. Operating profit grew from RMB 3.79 billion to RMB 12.22 billion in the same period, whereas net profits fell from RMB 491.6 million to a net loss of RMB 43.89 billion previous year.

But the company said that 8.6 percent of its revenue and 39.3 percent of gross profit past year came from Internet services such as advertising and gaming on its MIUI user interface, which had 190 million monthly active users at the end of March.

The company said its revenue was 114.62 billion yuan (USD 18 billion) in 2017, up 67.5 per cent against 2016. "A bigger hardware user base will translate to stronger profitability from services and at the ecosystem end". Domestic rivals Huawei, Oppo and Vivo surpassed Xiaomi in 2016 but the company bounced back to become the world's fourth largest smartphone maker after Samsung, Apple and Huawei.

While Xiaomi continued to expand its product portfolio to include more smart home devices and lifestyle products, it had also been working hard on expanding its physical presence around the world. It looked destined to become an industry laughing stock, with market share sinking to fifth in China and seventh place globally, according to IDC. The exclusive tie-ups with online stores held Xiaomi back from reaching many less tech-savvy customers in China. Despite rising sales, the company was hit by huge losses. He personally took charge of the supply chain and ramped up investments in dozens of businesses that made everything from fitness monitors, luggage, water purifiers, rice cookers and personal scooters. Still, it's a rare case of a Chinese corporation trying to forge an worldwide brand.

The numbers underscore how Xiaomi has remained resilient even as the global smartphone market has slowed.

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