Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi have instructed banks in their home nation to pitch for an initial public offering in 2018, with meetings to be held on Friday, Reuters have been told.

An initial public offering (IPO) is the first sale of stock issued by a company to the public, effectively allowing anyone with the cash to buy a part of the company. It’s a vital step to becoming a truly global brand, and Xiaomi’s IPO could break world records at the most valuable in history.

The smartphone brand, who are behind phones like the Mi Mix 2, was valued at a remarkable $46 billion in a 2014 funding round, but underwent a period of declining sales before reasserting itself on the market over the last 12 months.

By floating on the stock market, it could become the worlds largest technology IPO, with a source telling Reuters “It is huge,” suggesting a figure of $100 billion would “not be a crazy number”. A source within the company pegged its value at $55 billion at the end of June, though others are suggesting that that number is far too low.

Xiaomi have declined to comment on the matter, but with the funding from an IPO, Xiaomi would almost certainly be pressured into breaking into more markets around the globe. Following a failed rollout in Brazil and Indonesia, the company recently launched into new markets like Vietnam, Russia, the UAE, Ukraine and more.

More to come.

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