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Apple challenger Xiaomi makes lacklustre Hong Kong stock debut

09 July 2018

They later recovered most of their losses, but still closed down 1.2% despite gains in the broader market.

A new wave of Chinese tech companies are planning forays into public markets to raise billions of dollars through initial public offerings.

So why did Xiaomi's IPO flop?

Stocks in Hong Kong and Shanghai have taken heavy hits. The spat pushed Hong Kong's benchmark index to a nine-month low last week. The main Hong Kong stock market index ended 1.3 percent higher.

The Sino-US trade dispute has roiled financial markets including stocks and currencies, and the global trading of commodities from soybeans to coal over the past several weeks.

Analysts say a combination of concerns have weighed on Xiaomi's IPO.

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Chinese smartphone and telecommunications equipment maker ZTE has been in crisis since the U.S. government banned American companies from selling it components, citing violations of an earlier deal that punished the company for evading sanctions on Iran and North Korea.

At Monday's closing price the company had a market value of $53.3 billion.

Smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp., whose shares will debut in Hong Kong trading Monday, is one of the most-watched tech IPOs since the 2014 flotation of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Xiaomi raised $4.7 billion through the issuance of 2.2 billion shares, but the pricing was 23% lower than projected. The company pitches itself as going beyond devices to offer internet services, such as video streaming, although it has yet to see significant revenue in the services category.

Xiaomi's float was the first under the city's new rules allowing firms to weight voting rights in favor of company founders, as part of efforts to encourage more tech groups to choose Hong Kong over NY, its arch-rival. "Without the innovation of Hong Kong's capital markets, we wouldn't get a chance to go public in Hong Kong", he said.

"We are an internet firm", Xiaomi's founder and chief executive Lei Jun told the listing ceremony at the Hong Kong stock exchange. Most of its sales are in China, but it's growing aggressively in other countries. While Xiaomi does not sell its products in America at the moment, the company has said it plans to before the end of next year.

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

Apple challenger Xiaomi makes lacklustre Hong Kong stock debut