Xiaomi's upcoming initial public offering is drawing the attention of China's richest individuals, with the Beijing-based startup being likely to be backed by Tencent Chairman Pony Ma and Alibaba founder Jack Ma, Bloomberg reports, citing sources with knowledge of the situation. Former CK Hutchinson Holdings Chairman Li Ka-shing is also understood to be planning a $30 million investment into the consumer electronics manufacturer, being yet another multi-billionaire on the list of business magnates eager to back Xiaomi, as per the same source. Combined, the Chinese trio is worth over $120 billion and enjoys a massive reputation of having a high degree of business acumen, with their interest in Xiaomi being likely to attract many more investors to the upcoming IPO.
The smartphone maker officially confirmed its public market debut plans earlier this month, stating it's targeting a listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in the first half of July. Xiaomi is seeking some $6 billion in funding, $4 billion down its initial target which ended up being downsized as its dual-listing strategy was placed on hold. The company is likely to issue a number of Chinese depositary receipts later this year in an effort to raise even more cash to continue fueling its growth. While last year's reports speculated about a valuation close to $100 billion, the likeliest real-world scenario is that Xiaomi's shares end up being valued at between $54 billion and $80 billion.
Qualcomm and China Mobile were previously said to have expressed interest in participating in Xiaomi's IPO as well, though it's still unclear who's poised to take the biggest stake in the tech giant following its bourse debut. The company is presently growing at a rapid pace, particularly in India and a number of European markets where it managed to profile itself as one of the leading handset vendors despite only starting its international expansion efforts several years back.