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This company wants to put fitness trackers where they belong: in your sneakers

Xiaomi is gearing up to expand its range of connected offerings with the launch later this year of a pair of ‘smart’ sneakers.

The Beijing-based smartphone giant, which has become known as ‘the Apple of China’ thanks to its fast expansion and growing popularity, has partnered with sports brand Li Ning to make the high-tech sports shoes. Li Ning will work with Xiaomi’s Huami Technology company, which helped bring the Mi Band fitness tracker to the market last year.

Confirming the move in a release Monday, Li Ning said it was partnering with Huami “because of [its] strength in smart wearable products,” and promised to offer the sneakers at “an affordable price.”

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According to Reuters, chips embedded in the soles of the shoes will automatically send data to a Xiaomi mobile app, providing the user with information on steps, activity, and general progress during their workouts.

While putting smart technology into sports shoes isn’t anything new – Nike, for one, tried it with the Nike+ sensor – Xaomi evidently feels it can make a success of such a product and consequently will introduce it as part of its growing range of connected devices.

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Xiaomi has had a massive impact on China’s smartphone market thanks to its lineup of powerful devices offered at reasonable prices. It’s now making tentative steps into the U.S. market as it prepares to launch an online store offering items such as its Mi Band and Mi Headphones. Sadly, there’ll be no smartphones for sale, though they’re expected to come later, if the store’s a success.