Chinese sports brand Li Ning teams up with Xiaomi to launch ‘smart’ trainers
Mon 16 Mar 2015
According to recent reports, leading Chinese tech company Xiaomi is planning to release a line of ‘smart’ running shoes, in association with sportswear firm Li Ning, by the end of 2015.
Li Ning has partnered with Xiaomi’s wearables startup Huami Technology responsible for the fitness tracking wristband Mi Band. “We have chosen to collaborate with the Mi band because of Huami Technology’s strength in “smart” wearable products. We hope to use this opportunity to provide professional “smart” running shoes to running enthusiasts in China at an affordable price,” said Ning.
Smart chipsets will be implanted into the soles of the running shoes and will connect to the runner’s smartphone via the Xaomi mobile app, allowing users to monitor their progress and results while they run, such as distance ran and specific achievements.
Li Ning, the Beijing-based sports company founded by the former Olympic gymnast of the same name, is struggling in terms of revenue due to declining sales following the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The brand, supported by private equity firm TPG Capital and Singaporean wealth fund GIC, announced in January that it expected to report a third consecutive year of losses, was undergoing a re-structure and was looking for innovative technologies to help boost its profits. Xiaomi, on the other hand, is seeing its income rocket within its domestic Chinese market as well as across its other Asian operations including India, Singapore and the Philippines.
Apart from its smartphone products, Xiaomi has recently unveiled its YiCamera, a GoPro rival action camera, and has announced plans to launch a smartwatch in the near future.
The tech giant also revealed earlier this year that 25 companies are now members of its smart home community, featuring smart products such as smart TV sets, a blood pressure management kit, the Mi Air Purifier, and a smart water purifier currently under-development.