A number of technology companies set to go public in Hong Kong over the course of the next few years are likely to have a combined IPO valuation of approximately $500 billion, Reuters reported Friday, citing interviews with analysts and other industry watchers. The group of unicorns is expected to be led by Xiaomi, a Beijing-based original equipment manufacturer that's said to have recently decided on holding an initial public offering in 2018 and is targeting a valuation of at least $50 billion, according to recent reports. While Xiaomi founder and Chief Executive Officer Lei Jun repeatedly went on record to state an IPO is not a priority for one of the world's most valuable startups, the firm's strong performance in 2017 that saw it regain its momentum from its last private funding round in 2014 prompted the company to reconsider that stance and ultimately decide that 2018 is a good opportunity to allow early investors to cash out and attempt to raise additional funds on the public markets.
Even though insiders recently claimed Xiaomi hasn't decided on where to hold its IPO and was still considering the New York Stock Exchange earlier this month, the company is understood to be much closer to opting for the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. Online wealth management service provider Lufax is another unicorn startup that's expected to be one of the largest tech IPOs in 2018 that should also opt for being listed on the HKEX with a valuation north of $18.5 billion which was the figure attached to the startup during its latest private funding round in early 2016.
The HKEX is also planning on loosening some of its regulations in order to attract more high-value tech IPOs, with the most notable change in this regard being the adoption of dual-class share systems announced by the stock exchange earlier this month. This particular structure is attractive to many tech companies with ambitions to go public as it allows them to capitalize on their momentum without yielding control of their operations. While Xiaomi's reported IPO target is understood to be relatively modest given the firm's recent performance, some industry watchers remain adamant the Chinese phone maker could reach as much as $100 billion in market capitalization once it goes public.