Xiaomi’s Lei says Ma, Li investments show confidence in outlook

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 July, 2018, 10:02pm
UPDATED : Monday, 09 July, 2018, 12:14am

Xiaomi Corp, whose shares are officially set to start trading on Monday in Hong Kong after a US$3.1 billion IPO, said investments by billionaires such as Li Ka-shing, Jack Ma and Pony Ma are a mark of confidence they have in its management and workers.

In a letter to employees sent via WeChat on Sunday, chairman Lei Jun said Xiaomi will strive to move up one notch in rankings as the world’s No 3 smartphone maker and to have overseas markets account for more than half its revenue.

“A successful listing is only the first chapter of Xiaomi’s story,” Lei said in the letter, adding the earliest venture capital investor who put down US$5 million in Xiaomi has seen the amount grow 866 times in value. “Tomorrow, let us witness this great milestone together.”

The debut of the Beijing-based company’s shares is scheduled just days after trade tensions between the US and China escalated into a tariff war on July 6. Following a tussle over valuation and overshadowed by the bilateral conflict, Xiaomi had scaled back its ambitions for the initial public

offering and cut its valuation to about US$54 billion, or roughly half of the initial goal. It also scrapped plans to sell shares on the mainland after failing to satisfy regulators.

The company is the first in Hong Kong to sell shares with a dual-class structure since the city changed its rules to allow founders to keep outsized voting rights.