Xiaomi's flagship store in Shenzhen, Guangdong province. Photo: YouTube
Xiaomi's flagship store in Shenzhen, Guangdong province. Photo: YouTube

Xiaomi dialed up all the wrong numbers this week, with shares plunging to an all-time low as investors rushed to sell the stock as the six-month lockup period after its initial public offering ended.

Shares fell as much as 10% on Wednesday before closing at HK$10.34 (US$1.32), still down 6.8% despite a surging market in Hong Kong. The shares decreased another 4% on Thursday morning to HK$9.92.

Since its listing on July 9 last year, China’s biggest smartphone maker has declined more than 40% from its IPO price of HK$17, a big drop in value but in line with other “new economy” stocks.

Nine new-economy stocks listed in the last 18 months have suffered falls of between 35% and 75%, according to Apple Daily.

Together these stocks, most notably Xiaomi, food delivery platform Meituan Dianping and beauty mobile app Meitu, wiped out a market capitalization of HK$340 billion, more than their total amount of capital raised in initial public offerings in Hong Kong, the world’s No.1 listing platform, the Hong Kong newspaper said.

New-economy stocks rode on the back of strong sentiments that saw Tencent Holdings and Alibaba Group surged to become some of the largest companies in the world because of their dominance in cyberspace.

Many of them were Tencent spin-offs, such as Meituan, e-book China Literature, car-trading platform Yixin, insurance arm Zhong An, and most recently music portal Tencent Music. Now, almost all are below water after listing.

Similar to Tencent, Xiaomi’s earlier investors such as IDG, and private equity funds like Qiming Investment and Morningstar, are laughing all the way to the bank because they bought some of their holdings at as low as 10 HK cents, which means they are sitting on over 100 times investment returns.

Founder Lei Jun and his staff are also sitting on huge profits despite the poor post-market performance, which gave them a reason to cash out.

In a stock exchange announcement, Lei pledged that he would not sell any of his 2.66 billion shares in the coming year.

However, that does not mean he won’t sell some 640 million awarded shares, which at the current price, are still worth over HK$6.6 billion.

Some investors have been less fortunate. China Mobile and Qualcomm, for example, are cornerstone investors and Xiaomi vendors who committed to buy Xiaomi at HK$17. They may need to wait a bit longer before Xiaomi can blossom and return to its golden days.

Read: Xiaomi gives away US$327 million in shares to staff

Read: Xiaomi pays a hefty price for low valuation and poor timing