Xiaomi’s sales surge while it files for potentially the largest-ever IPO

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi filed for an initial public offering in Hong Kong today, via Bloomberg, that is likely to end up being the largest ever in business history, reaching a potential valuation of $100 billion. For reference, internet sales giant Alibaba filed the current-largest IPO of all time at $25 billion in 2014.

As part of the IPO process, Xiaomi publicly released detailed financial reports for the first time. The reports show that Xiaomi is doing exceptionally well; in fact, the company doubled its smartphone shipments year-over-year as compared to the first quarter of 2017.

Xiaomi’s revenue went up by 67.5 percent in 2017, which is astounding when you take into consideration that in 2016 the company posted a dismal 2.4 percent growth. In 2017, Xiaomi’s revenue reached 114.5 billion yuan (~$18 billion).

Despite its growth, Xiaomi is still in fourth place globally when it comes to smartphone manufacturers, with 7.9 percent of market share. Ahead of the company are Samsung, Apple, and fellow Chinese company Huawei, with 21.7 percent, 14.5 percent, and 10.9 percent of the market respectively.

According to a statement released by Xiaomi’s co-founder Lei Jun, the company has its sights set on displacing Apple when it comes to market share in China. It plans to do that by avoiding Apple’s “walled garden” approach and shifting Xiaomi from its current position as primarily a hardware company to something more all-encompassing.

Jun also once again re-affirmed the company’s recent declaration that it will cap its hardware profit margins at 5 percent.

Despite its growth and success, Xiaomi is still absent in one major market: the United States. Due to continuing political struggles between the U.S. and China, Xiaomi (and Huawei, and especially ZTE) will likely not gain a presence in the U.S. for at least as long as President Donald Trump is in office.

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