Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi's listing falls flat

Chinese Smartphone Maker Xiaomi Falls in Hong Kong Trading Debut

Apple is trading at 16 times earnings and Chinese social media giant Tencent is trading at 36 times.

The stock that was made available to retail investors drew orders represented 9.5 times the shares offered, the company said Friday.

By contrast, China Literature Ltd, the e-book arm of Tencent Holdings, late previous year raised $1.1 billion in its Hong Kong IPO amid heavy demand, with the retail portion being 625 times oversubscribed.

"We are an internet firm", Xiaomi's founder and chief executive Lei Jun told the listing ceremony at the Hong Kong stock exchange. There has been a bit of debate as to whether or not it is a hardware company or an internet company, perhaps when the dust settles and investors know what they're getting into we could see the price move in Xiaomi's favour. It is also the first under the city's new exchange rules permitting dual-class shares, common in the USA tech industry in an attempt to attract tech floats.

China's Xiaomi, the world's fifth biggest seller of smartphones, made an underwhelming public debut after it hit the Hong Kong Stock Exchange amid concerns around an ongoing trade war between the US and China.

Xiaomi had been expected to raise up to $10 billion, split between its Hong Kong and a mainland offering.

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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. Its closing share price for the first day of trading was HK$16.78.

Asked if the low pricing of some technology firms including Xiaomi will weigh on upcoming IPOs, Hong Kong stock exchange Chief Executive Charles Li said: "We can not put a brake". The market is always open.

Despite being one of the most anticipated Chinese technology IPOs this year, Xiaomi saw a disappointing valuation of $54 billion (€46 billion), well below its ambitious $100 billion target. "It's open to everybody.If you don't like the price, you can stay away".

But doubts about the sustainability of its business model were among the reasons for the lower valuation, analysts said.

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

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