Chinese Smartphone Maker Xiaomi Eyes 2018 Stock Market Listing

China’s Xiaomi, one of the world’s biggest smartphone makers, is talking to bankers about an initial public offering as early as the second half of next year, people familiar with the matter said.

It would be the public market debut of one of China’s most widely recognized tech brands. Xiaomi was valued at about $46 billion in its last fundraising round in late 2014, which made it the world’s most valuable private tech company at the time, even above Uber. But since then, the Beijing-based startup has struggled to sustain its momentum and live up to the hype.  

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While Xiaomi has only had limited success turning its software and services into a lucrative internet business model, the company has created new sources of revenue by expanding beyond smartphones. Today, Xiaomi sells everything from air purifiers to rice cookers. This expansion was made possible by Xiaomi’s investments in numerous startups. Analysts say Xiaomi’s strategy in China now revolves around all internet-enabled devices and appliances.

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The IPO talks come as publicly listed shares of other Chinese tech giants such as Tencent and Alibaba have soared.