Millennium Post

China's Xiaomi targets Europe as it kicks off IPO

Hong Kong: Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi will aggressively target European markets, using part of the proceeds from its initial public offering worth $6.1 billion in Hong Kong, the company's co-founder said on Saturday.

The company is offering 2.18 billion shares at HK dollar 17-HK dollar 22 apiece, in a bid to raise $6.1 billion, far less than the $10 billion originally expected, as an escalating trade war between China and the US dampens investor sentiment. But at a press conference in Hong Kong on Saturday, the company's co-founders were bullish about its prospects, signalling plans for international expansion in Europe and Southeast Asia. "Someone asked me if Xiaomi (will) only expand in developing countries? Last year we started to enter the European market and we realised we have a lot of 'Mi fans' in Europe," Lei Jun, Xiaomi's co-founder and CEO said.

The company will invest around HK 8.3 billion from its IPO proceeds towards boosting its presence in overseas markets including Spain, Russia and Indonesia. The firm, which mainly sells cheap but high-quality smartphones in China, has been looking to push into Europe –recently opening its first flagship store in Paris –as the home market reaches saturation point. "We are planning for the US market and will find a proper timing to enter it," Wang Chuan, co-founder and senior vice president of Xiaomi, said on Saturday. "Xiaomi is very optimistic about the development of China-US trade, as every economic entity is relying on each other," Wang added.

Founded in 2010 by entrepreneur Lei, Xiaomi has grown from a start-up in Zhongguancun –China's "Silicon Valley" –to the world's fourth biggest smartphone vendor at the end of last year according to International Data Corp (IDC).

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