One of China’s hottest startups is launching a smartwatch to rival the Apple Watch this year

Xiaomi is sometimes referred to as the “Apple of China” — not only because of its fervent fanbase, but also how similar some of its products, its marketing, and its CEO’s mannerisms are to Apple’s.

Well, here’s another parallel between it and the Cupertino company: It’s launching a smartwatch!

There have been rumours swirling that Xiaomi has been working on a smartwatch since March 2015. But we finally have confirmation that the product is real, and that it will launch in 2016.

Gizmo China reports that Xiaomi cofounder Liu De recently told a Beijing conference that the company is building the Mi smartwatch, and that it’s due to launch in the second half of 2016.

Xiaomi, previously valued at $45 billion, is no stranger to the wearables space. It already makes Mi Bands, Fitbit-style fitness trackers — but this will be its first fully fledged smartwatch. It is also launching a smartwatch for children called the Mituwatch, Android Headlines reports, that can track your kid and comes with an SOS button.

NOW WATCH: A tech company made a new type of solar panel that’s about to turn the energy industry upside down