Popular athletic gear company Li-Ning will collaborate with leading Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi to release smart running shoes this year in an effort to boost its revenue, Reuters reports. The shoes’ soles will contain computer chips that connect to a Xiaomi mobile app, allowing runners to monitor their progress, results, form and achievements.
The partnership is Li-Ning’s latest attempt to appeal to a broader audience to boost its revenue following a high-profile 2013 sponsorship deal with NBA star Dwayne Wade. Meanwhile, Xiaomi — the world’s most valuable startup — has been seeking to break into the wearables market since it launched the fitness tracker Mi band in 2014.
“We have chosen to collaborate with the Mi band because of [Xiaomi’s] strength in ‘smart’ wearable products,” Li Ning said Monday in a statement. “We hope to use this opportunity to provide professional ‘smart’ running shoes to running enthusiasts in China at an affordable price.”