• Xiaomi is planning initial public offering in second half of 2018.
  • The IPO could value the Chinese OEM at $100 million.
  • Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, and Credit Suisse have all lined up as partners.

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is reportedly preparing to go public and has chosen a handful of the world’s leading finance firms to hit a possible valuation of up to $100 billion – more than double previous estimates reported late last year.

While Xiaomi is reportedly considering several Chinese underwriters, its main partners for the IPO are Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, and Credit Suisse.

The proposed initial public offering, say Bloomberg sources, is expected to kick off in the second half of 2018. The float would be the first time the Beijing giant has sold shares to the public.

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The incredible $100 billion figure would see Xiaomi overshadow IPOs from numerous major technology firms, such as Snap and Twitter, and potentially match or even beat Facebook’s valuation of $104 billion in 2012.

The potential valuation is made even more impressive when you consider Xiaomi’s recent history of ups and downs.

The once-dubbed ‘Apple of the East’ saw sales explode back in 2014 thanks to its incredible growth in China through online sales. The volatile market eventually saw rivals like Huawei, OPPO, and Vivo edging Xiaomi out, however, forcing the OEM to reconsider its focus in early 2017 and admit that it had grown “too fast”.

Just ten months later, Xiaomi smashed its yearly sales target of $15 billion after shipping 70 million devices worldwide. The impressive sales growth was influenced heavily by Xiaomi’s approach to India – an emerging market where its mid-range, high price-performance ratio phones have proved incredibly popular.

With an ambitious plan to build 1,000 “Mi Home” retail stores by 2019, an ongoing battle with Samsung for the top spot in India, and rumors once again of a possible push into the US market, Xiaomi could be in line for a banner year in 2018.