Italy Intervenes After Illegal Sale of Drone Maker to China

Italian police have raided a drone company allegedly bought by Chinese state-owned companies via an illegal route. The company specializes in the production of military drones, and the Chinese reportedly hoped to take advantage of this.


Prosecutors in northern Pordenone concluded that a Hong Kong company took a majority stake in the Italian company in 2018 for a considerable sum. That drone company has not been named but has had contracts with the Italian Ministry of Defense.

Behind the company in Hong Kong are two “important state-owned companies in China”. Police say the Italian drone producer was not bought as an investment. The purchase would have been solely intended to obtain technical information about the production of uncrewed aircraft.

Police say authorities were not informed of the purchase, as required by law. As a result, three Italian and three Chinese executives are suspected of violating rules, such as legislation protecting strategically important companies.

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