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09 July 2018, 07:38 | Casey Mitchell
Phone maker Xiaomi falls then rises in Hong Kong debut
A new wave of Chinese tech companies are planning forays into public markets to raise billions of dollars through initial public offerings. Before Monday, Hong Kong's benchmark index had fallen more than 10% from early June.
Despite Xiaomi's challenging debut, Reuters notes that Hang Seng - the Hong Kong stock market index - was 1.7 percent higher.
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 USA and China.
"Investors are skeptical about Xiaomi's growth momentum as the global smartphone market seems to be on a downward slope", said Jacky Zhang, an analyst at BOC International in Shanghai.
"The tit-for-tat going on in the political front between the Unites States and China is spilling over, especially in the tech space,"said Jake Saunders, an analyst at ABI Research".
At Monday's closing price the company had a market value of $53.3 billion.
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp's shares fell as much as 6 percent on debut in Hong Kong due to valuation concerns, delivering a blow to investor sentiment in the tech sector where peers have lined up listings in the city.
Xiaomi argued that it should receive a higher valuation than other hardware makers because of the internet services - such as music and video streaming apps - it offers with its devices.
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The Xiaomi float adds to Hong Kong's $7 billion worth of new listings so far this year. Meanwhile, ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing and Alibaba-affiliated digital payments firm Ant Financial are also reportedly considering IPOs.
"We are an internet firm", Xiaomi's founder and chief executive Lei Jun told the listing ceremony at the Hong Kong stock exchange.
Xiaomi, which helped to pioneer the trend for ultra-low-priced smartphones, says it plans to become an equipment-and-hardware brand alongside Apple Inc.
It is now the biggest smartphone vendor in India and is pushing into European markets including Spain and Russian Federation, though it has lost share in China recently to lower-cost rivals.
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